ETimes has it that the police was summoned, who led away the agitated workers to Aarey Police Station and later the unions rushed to the cops to get them released. “The agitation was not aggressive but still, it was chaos, in fact, pandemonium,” says a source. The shooting however continued after the workers were taken away in the police van.
Luv Films had earlier sent a letter to FWICE and other unions, in response to the complaint made by Film Studio setting & Allied Mazdoor Union’s General Secretary Ganeshwarlal Shrivastav, that they are not responsible for any non-payments as they had given all the necessary payments in this regard to the hired Production Designer, Dipankar Das Gupta.
When contacted, Dipankar Das Dasgupta told ETimes, “If I was at fault, would I have been still shooting with Luv? In fact, as we speak, I am on the same Ranbir-Shraddha set.”
According to Dibankar Das Gupta, Jaishankar and Gautam of Hyperlink were responsible for the mess. “You see, I had outsourced the project to a company called Hyperlink, from where two men, Jai Shankar and Gautam made an agreement with me. Much later, we came to know that those two had further outsourced it to a certain Prashant Vichare. Now, I have worked with Jaishankar and Gautam on many projects. They had even met Luv after coming on board. How would I dream that they will go on to outsource it further to someone else (Prashant Vichare)? And mind you, they hadn’t kept us in the loop. In fact, later I was told that they had gone over-budget by over Rs 1 crore. Is it possible that anybody would go over-budget by Rs 1 crore and not bring it to the notice of the people who are above him in that project? And by the way, no such kind of work was done that would require them to spend Rs 1 crore more than they were given. My bank accounts are open to reveal that there has been no hotch-potch from my side.”
FWICE General Secretary Ashok Dubey said, “Look, the poor workers have got sandwiched. This outsourcing business should stop. Why are the workers not paid by the producers directly? This method of working only starts a blame game, which puts immense stress on workers. It has happened before and it will happen again.”
Prashant Vichare remained unavailable for comment. Repeated calls to him failed to evoke a response.