VARANASI, FEBRUARY 6: Trouble followed filmmaker Deepa Mehta to the ghats of the Ganga again. A Shiv Sainik tried to commit suicide, some Sangh Parivar outfits threw stones in protest and hardly a couple of hours after the shooting of Water began at an outdoor location, the authorities ordered the unit to pack up.
Shiv Sena activist Arun Pathak, with a heavy stone tied round his waist, jumped into the Ganga and consumed some poisonous substance, Superintendent of Police (city) Ashok Jain told PTI.
Pathak was rushed to a nearby hospital where his condition was stated to be serious, Jain said. Soon after the suicide bid, activists of Kashi Sanskriti Raksha Sangharsh Samiti (KSRSS), spearheading the campaign against Water, threw stones, damaging vehicles and shops at the Assi locality close to the shooting locale at Bhadini, witnesses said. Actresses Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das, playing the roles of widows in the film which depicts the plight of widows in Varanasi, were shooting when the violence brokeout.
Both the actresses and remaining members of the unit were safely escorted to the hotel. The film unit was told to pack up and leave the location at about 5.30 pm, keeping in view the law and order situation, Jain said. “It is true that Deepa Mehta has agreed to withdraw a few of the controversial dialogues in the original script but there are still many which put the widows and also Varanasi in a shade. We will continue opposing it tooth and nail and will not call off the agitation until she is forced to pack up,” a KSSRS spokesman said.
UP wants a ban
LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Government today directed the district administration of Varanasi to take an appropriate decision, including a ban on the shooting of Water, keeping in view the law and order situation there in the wake of its shooting.