The Mumbai police Thursday registered an FIR against unidentified persons for leaking the original preview copy of Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Manjhi – The Mountain Man online around a week ago.
The movie released across theatres in the country Friday.
The BKC cyber police station, where the FIR was registered, will now probe at what stage the preview copy of the film was leaked and uploaded on Torrent sharing websites.
The police said this was not the first movie to have been leaked online days before its theatrical release this year.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) KMM Prasanna said they had blocked all websites where copies of the film, a biopic on Dashrath Manjhi, were available.
The film is about Manjhi, a man in Bihar who had toiled hard for 22 years to carve out a roadway through a mountain using just a hammer and a chisel as tools.
Prasanna said that a few days ago, somebody had put up the Ketan Mehta film on social platforms like Youtube and other torrent sharing sites.
“We are now in the process of locating the IP address from where the movie was first uploaded on the net,” Prasanna added.
Another officer said Viacom Media 18, producers of the film, approached the police after it came to light that at least 50 websites along with Torrent sharing webites had links to the preview copy of the film.
Soon after the links appeared online, several people on social media platforms had tagged the actors and warned them about the leaked copy with screenshots.
The police Thursday registered an FIR under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections of the Information Technology Act and the Copyright Act.
The officer added that in the earlier cases, pirated copies, mainly those shot stealthily in theatres, had been leaked online. But in this case, reportedly, the original preview copy that was sent to several movie festivals was leaked.
“We will track down those who had access to the preview copy of the movie and could have leaked it. We are told that this has happened with a few other movies as well this year. This appears to be the new trend, and hence can be an organised ploy,” the officer said.