‘The Suspect’ screened with two other movies of similar theme in Kolkata

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter

Three films that talked about the implication of youths in false terror cases were screened under the banner of ‘Framing Innocents’ in Kolkata on Sunday.

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The films screened were ‘Farooq Versus the State’ directed by KP Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro, ‘The Suspect’ directed by Nitin Neera Chandra and ‘Fabricated’ directed by KP Sasi. The Suspect, a short feature film in which TwoCircles.net also holds a position as one of the producers, was screened as the premiere.

Screening has held at Jogesh Mime Academy situated in Kalighat by People’s Film Collective. Around 300 people attended the screening; attendees included people from Maithili community as film ‘The Suspect’ was shot in Maithili and Hindi languages.


‘Farooq versus the State’ deals with the controversial case of Farooq Mhapkar, one of the key persons who were wrongly accused in the Hari Masjid case, one of the most serious episodes of the Mumbai riots of 1992-93. Hari Masjid, Wadala, Mumbai, was the scene of a brutal police attack on January 10, 1993. Though Farooq Mhapkar was one of the casualties of indiscriminate police firing, he was charged as a rioter. Farooq versus The State is the story of Farooq’s protracted legal battle against an unyielding State in pursuit of justice. Through this case, the film seeks to explore how justice was delayed and denied to the victims and survivors of the 1992-93 communal violence.

Film ‘Fabricated’ is a story of the post-Independence India. Every year when this country celebrates freedom, there are thousands of innocent prisoners in Indian jails, waiting for justice without even a trial. Abdul Nasar Maudani is one such victim. As a Muslim spiritual leader, he reacted strongly against the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. His house was attacked and he spent nine and a half years in jail. All the charges against him were proven false and even the judgement makes it clear that the case was fabricated. He was released without any compensation. No trial on those who were responsible for such fabrication was conducted. But soon, Maudani was framed for another series of charges and he is still waiting for justice in Bangalore Parappana Agrahara jail.

Dwaipayan Banerjee of People’s Film Collective told TwoCircles.net that why they chose to screen films which were talking about such terror cases.

He said, “In May, Gulzar Ahmad Wani was released after spending over a decade in jail. He too was implicated in terror cases falsely. There are much more such cases, through which we were going at the time.”

“At the same time, we came across M Reyaz who told us about the films which were being made on the same topics. That’s where we got the idea of screening such films,” said Banerjee.

The film screening was followed by a talk between the film director of The Suspect, Nitin Neera Chandra and the audience present in the auditorium. The audience raised questions to director Chandra on how and from where he got the inspiration for making this film.

In his reply, Chandra mentioned various cases he read as news stories. During his research for the film, Chandra came across TwoCircles.net after which he collaborated with the website to make The Suspect.

One audience member asked Chandra why he was passing a judgement on the abducted youth, as to whether they were innocent or not, Chandra said, “I did not decide on my own. I only talk about those cases where people have been acquitted by Supreme Court, High Courts and lower courts of the country.”

After director Chandra, academic and journalist M Reyaz faced the audience with the idea of the real and reel world differences in such cases. Reyaz counted many such cases where young Muslim men spent a considerable amount of their lives in Jails after Police and security agencies implicated them falsely.

Talking about the major causes behind such cases, Reyaz counted ‘Islamophobia’ as the prime one.

Some audience members tried to corner M Reyaz by asking questions of Yakub Memon, to which Reyaz replied that no Muslim organisation came forward to defend Memon, thus Muslims cannot be questioned on this basis. Moreover, India’s Counsel in International Court of Justice Harish Salve did represent Yakub and his brother Yusuf Memon once, who later on became one of the counsels sent to save Kulbhushan Jadhav.

‘The Suspect’ marked its second premiere screening in India. Prior to its Kolkata screening, The Suspect was screened in Mumbai, and in Boston, US.

‘The Suspect’ is the story of a 26-year-old Abdul Rahim Ansari, who arrives in Mumbai from Darbhanga (Bihar) to work as Production Assistant trainee in one of the film Units of Mumbai. Sanjay, one the village natives has done well for himself in film line, he has got this job for Abdul. As part of the job, Mumbai has to hunt down location. As the luck would have, Mumbai is under terrorist attack on very first day Abdul started his job and out of the blue, every news channel is flashing Abdul as the main culprit.

(Images courtesy: People’s Film Collective)