Event Firm and Anil Kapoor rapped for leaning out of train in a stunt for ’24’ promos
Mumbai: A non-governmental organisation called Sahas has approached the Government Railway Police (GRP) asking it to take action against actor Anil Kapoor, who drew flak after he was clicked standing on the footboard and hanging out of a local train from Churchgate to Mumbai Central on Thursday.
President of the foundation Syad Furqan Ahmed met with GRP commissioner Nikit Kaushik Saturday morning with a written letter asking the GRP to take action. “We think that the actor should apologise for what he has done, as he has a certain influence on youth. They might try to emulate him and think it’s okay to perform such stunts. We have spoken to the commissioner Kaushik and have requested him to take some action against the actor,” said Mr Ahmed.
Anil Kapoor made news recently when he travelled in a suburban local train to promote his upcoming television show 24: Season 2. But the publicity stunt seems to have got the actor into trouble after Western Railway (WR) sent a notice to the event management company behind the shoot seeking an explanation as to why he was he was travelling on the footboard.
In the letter, a copy of which is with this newspaper, the foundation has pointed out that the railways has been conducting campaigns against footboard travel and that this stunt by the actor has thrown cold water on their efforts. An enormous amount of tax payers’ money is spent on advertising to spread awareness among youth to deter them from performing such stunts, the letter further said.
Mr Ahmed has also said the foundation would be filing an RTI on the terms of the contract between the railways and the production house on which shooting was agreed upon. “The RTI will be filed to know the exact terms of the shooting that was discussed and signed upon between the production house and the railways,” Mr Ahmed added.
Mr Kaushik said he had asked his officers to file a report, and if a first hand report (FIR) could be filed against the actor.
The Western Railway’s (WR) Railway Police Force (RPF) had sent a notice to the marketing agency M/s Market Men which had signed the contract with the railways, on Friday itself.
The actor’s ride from Churchgate to Mumbai Central, which was a promotional event, backfired after photographs of him hanging out from the train were put on social media sites. The actor was promoting the second season of his series 24, produced by the television channel Colours.
When asked about their side of the story, spokespersons from the Channel promised a call back with their statement but did not do so.
During the promo shoot Anil Kapoor was seen hanging from the train with his co- commuters, a criminal offence under the Railway Act. In light of this the Western Railway Publicity Department sent a notice to the event management company, Market Men Consumers & Events Pvt Ltd.
“In spite of the terms and conditions to adhere strictly to safety and security during shoot, Anil Kapoor allegedly seems to be leaning from the footboard of a local train during a promo shoot on 14 July,” said an official of the Western Railway.
The Western Railway official explained that by leaning out of the running train from the footboard, the actor could inspire youngsters to perform similar stunts.
Beset with many such instances in the past when youngsters performing daredevil stunts have been killed or permanently maimed, the railway authorities have regularly campaigned for safety and security during train commutes.
Reports suggest that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) had conducted a special drive against footboard travellingand had prosecuted 2,809 passengers for the offence between 1 July to 14 July. In 2015, thirteen commuters died and 89 were injured after dashing into poles while travelling on footboards of local trains.
Dipesh Tank, the founder of War Against Railway Rowdies (WARR), said, “We all know the following Anil Kapoor has as a star and just by sending a notice to the event organiser, nothing would be achieved. Instead, the railways should ask Kapoor to volunteer and spread awareness to discourage people, especially the youth, from performing such stunts.”
The 59- year- old actor, who took a Borivali-bound slow local from Churchgate station on Thursday, shared the event’s pictures on his Twitter account with the caption, “I think I made a lot of people late for work today!”