The management of Film City in Goregaon has placed tight restrictions on entry into the premises and fired the private security agency tasked with guarding the area in the aftermath of a daylight murder in May.
The 500-acre Film City suffered a major breach of security on May 22 when two bike-borne assailants shot at and eventually killed film set contractor Raju Shinde (42). In the month after his death, checks have been sought on the free entry and exit of people and vehicles to and from the premises.
“Despite security, people entered and fired bullets and fled. We asked them (Film City) how they were allowed to go in and if there was any check. We have told them to tighten security,” said Fattehshing Patil, Additional Commissioner of Police, North Region.
In a letter sent to all production houses on July 4, Film City Managing Director Vilas Patil had noted that there was “virtually no control and system in place to prevent unauthorised and security-threatening elements from entering the Film City premises”. Patil said the services of private security agency CISS were terminated after a meeting in June. He added that the agency’s contract had, in fact, ended on December 31, 2014.
In the letter, Patil came down heavily on lapses on part of the CISS that had led to the fatal attack on Shinde.
“Part of the responsibility goes to Film City as the private security agency has failed to provide quality manpower to carry out surveillance of the area and prevent the entry of unauthorised persons inside its premises,” said the letter.
It also chided producers for not “reporting the armtwisting tactics of some of the goonda elements operating against them in the form of their own security arrangements, erection and dismantling of sets”.
Patil said he planned to put in place a robust security plan, beginning with floating tenders to employ another security agency. “We will soon begin frisking all those entering the premises with hand-held metal detectors. Additional CCTV cameras will also be installed to create access control,” he said.
The letter also bars employees at various film sets from bringing in relatives and friends to show them the sites. “A lot of people enter on the pretext of seeking autographs of actors,” Patil said. The management has also barred unauthorised vehicles from entering the premises, directing production houses to intimate the management about all their vehicles requiring regular entry.
He also admitted that Film City’s boundaries were porous, providing plenty of hiding places. “There are those who enter from the National Park, some jump over walls, while there are many encroachments from the 200 slums inside Film City,” Patil said. He said slumdwellers had been barred from moving around film sets without permission.
Patil also said police personnel were being deployed to gather intelligence on access into Film City from different areas.
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