Sole survivor objects to the way he and his family are portrayed

The Bombay High Court has stopped the release of Marathi film Khairlanjichya Mathyavar (On Khairlanji’s forehead), on the 2006 massacre of four Dalits in the Vidarbha village, and asked the producers to seek fresh CBFC certification. The Nagpur Bench passed the order on a petition from Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, sole survivor of the September 29, 2006 crime.

The film, directed by Raju Meshram, was scheduled for release on February 7. On February 21, the court cancelled the exhibition certificate already granted and asked the Central Board of Film Certification to issue another after “examining the issue and considering the objections” raised by Mr. Bhotmange.

His wife Surekha, daughter Priyanka, and sons Sudhir and Roshan were killed by a forward caste mob, sparking protests across Maharashtra against caste violence.

Mr. Bhotmange told The Hindu that the filmmakers did not approach him or take his permission before making the movie. “I am shown as a drunkard and coward who could not save his family. It shows my daughter as having an affair and my wife as aggressive, which are not true,” he said over telephone from Bhandara.

The filmmakers called him only for a premiere in Mumbai on January 29. “They made me sign a no-objection certificate, written in English, before my seeing the film,” he alleged.

Producer Kalpana Saroj, however, said the film carried a disclaimer that though it was based on a real-life incident, the characters were fictional. She alleged that Ravindra Shende from the Akhil Bhartiya Dhamma Sena had instigated Mr. Bhotmange. “Initially, he thanked me for making the film. He raised objections only after returning to Nagpur.”


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