An altercation among a group of cine workers led to the arrest of five board members of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), including its president Kamlesh Pandey, the screenwriter for Rang De Basanti.
An expelled member of the Federation was also arrested. All six were arrested by the Bandra Kurla Complex police on Tuesday under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for rioting and unlawful assembly.
They were subsequently released on bail, but the incident led to a strike by the federation of cine workers who said its board members had been framed.
K Nigde, senior police inspector with the Bandra Kurla Complex police, said the FIR was registered on Tuesday evening after the accused were detained for nearly six hours.
The accused include President of FWICE Pandey, general secretary Dilip Pithva, joint secretary Zahid Sheikh and General Council members Feroz Khan Raja and Sudhakar Sharma apart from the expelled member of FWICE, Gangeshwarlal Srivastav. “The accused were released on bail,” Nigde added.
According to the police, Srivastav was expelled from FWICE in December for allegedly extorting money from producers.
According to FWICE treasurer Ashish Rego, Srivastav had approached the Registrar of Trade Union seeking that FWICE’s registration be cancelled for dissolving the Allied Mazdoor Union Committee, whose chairman he was.
Rego said a hearing in Srivastav’s case was underway in the assistant registrar’s office on Tuesday morning when Srivastav got involved in an altercation, along with some members of a political party, following which the registrar filed a police complaint against the six.
FWICE called for an “indefinite strike” on Tuesday before the accused board members were eventually released on bail, but then decided to call off the strike after a press conference on Wednesday evening. “We want serious action against the Registrar of Trade Union and Srivastav for getting away after framing our board members. There is a BJP party member who has also helped them,” Rego said.