The anti-piracy cell of Kerala Police on Tuesday arrested two class 12 students and took a degree student into custody in connection with the piracy of recent Malayalam blockbuster Premam.
The piracy of the movie has brought the Censor Board office under a cloud of suspicion following the allegation made by ace director Priyadarshan that the pirated version of Premam available on the internet bore the watermark of a censor copy.
Police claimed that the students had uploaded the movie on to a website four days after its release in theaters. Initial probe revealed that they had created a fake internet protocol address to upload the movie. However, it is not clear how they accessed the copy of the film. Such details, including the involvement of others, would be available only after detailed questioning, police said.
The row over Premam’s piracy was triggered when its producer Anwar Rasheed lodged a complaint with the anti-piracy cell of Kerala police, stating that copies of the blockbuster were available on the Internet. On Monday, Rasheed had claimed that he had given evidence to help the police achieve a breakthrough in the probe.
He had stated that the censor copies had been given to studios in Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai, where post production work of Premam was held. After the piracy row surfaced, Kerala Film Exhibitors’ Association president Liberty Basheer alleged that copies of the movie were leaked from studios owned by directors Priyadarshan and B Unnikrishnan and demanded that the directors be questioned.
Priyadarshan replied that if the CD was leaked from the mixing studio, it would have the watermark of mixing copy and not of the Censor copy. He also ruled out chances of the movie’s copy being leaked from the dubbing studio.
The director added that censor board chairman Pahlaj Nihalani was apprised of the gravity of the situation and stringent action had been sought against those behind the act.
Reacting to the issue, Nihalani told mediapersons in Mumbai that the board was seriously looking into the issue. He said he would go to Thiruvananthapuram to find whether anyone in the Censor Board office was involved in the act of piracy.
Meanwhile, the anti-piracy cell examined Vismaya Max studio in Thiruvananthapuram where post-production work of the film was completed.