Makers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi biopic set a train’s coach on fire on Sunday in Gujarat’s Vadodara to recreate the 2002 Godhra train burning scene for the film.
The burning railway bogie on the narrow gauge between Pratap Nagar and Dabhoi railway line had many people recall the attack on S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, 2002, in which 59 passengers, mainly kar sewaks returning from Ayodhya, were killed, which set off riots across Gujarat.
According to a report of The Indian Express, the shoot was planned and supervised by the Western Railways and the Vadodara fire department. “Permission was given to shoot the documentary film here. It was shot at the narrow gauge Vishwamitri railway station. No rail traffic was affected in the process of the shoot and the bogie being used for the shoot was provided by us. It is a mock-drill bogie and was unused,” the publication quoted Western Railway PRO Khemraj Meena as saying.
A letter dated March 2, from Benchmark Production, Mumbai, signed by Jayraj Gadhvi, who is the supervising executive of the shoot in Gujarat, and addressed to the Chief Fire Officer of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, sought fire engine at the spot of the film’s shoot.
However, the Western Railway CPRO Ravindra Bhakar,told the publication that the script the film’s production company showed his office had no mention of “Godhra”.
Divisional Railway Manager of Vadodara Devendra Kumar said that he would have the incident investigated to check if the production company violated any permissions.
While the Sabarmati Express scene was shot in Gujarat, the scenes from inside the train will be shot at a set in Mumbai.
The biopic, directed by Omung Kumar, is slated to be released this year before the elections. While Vivek Oberoi will helm the titular role, the final cast includes names like Zarina Wahab, Manoj Joshi, Prashant Narayanan and Barkha Bisht Sengupta.