Bollywood terror suspect makes terror movie in Canada

Sanjay DuttBollywood‘s top bad boy, Sanjay Dutt, charged under India‘s anti-terrorist laws in connection with a series of bomb blasts in Bombay that killed 256 people, will be spending the summer in Calgary shooting a movie about South Asia‘s war on terror.
A special court in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) has allowed Dutt, who has been linked to Islamic militants, to join a mega-cast of Indian stars for production of...
...the movie called “Dus“, which will be shot in and around Calgary until August 28.

“Dus“ which means “ten“ is a Bollywood tale of a Pakistani intelligence agent collaborating with Indian forces to eliminate a gang of international terrorists.

Dutt, who recently turned 45, plays the role of chief of an anti-terrorist unit.

Other stars in the mega-movie are Bollywood heavyweights Sunil Shetty, Abishek Bachan, Shilpa Shetty, Gulshan Grover, Esha Deol and Pakistani actor Javed Sheikh.

Mumbai judge P.D.Kode, in allowing Dutt to travel, said the actor could visit Canada for the production, attend India‘s Independence Day celebrations in Chicago on August 15 on invitation by the Counsel General of India based in the city and visit his daughter Trishala in New York before returning home on August 21.

The judge ordered the actor not to contact any of the accused, some of whom are still at large and warned him against tampering with evidence while overseas.

Immigration Canada does not comment on specific cases but a retired Immigration control officer told The Asian Pacific Post that cases like Dutt‘s usually require “special dispensation“.

“It is likely he would have to append the court order, invitations, a detailed itinerary, permits etc to his visa application,“ said the ex-officer.

“Sometimes connections in high places like politicians who will vouch that the actor will return home or letters of support from the likes of the local film commission will help,“ he said.

“If it was a normal joe with charges pending against him, chances are he will not get visa clearance at the Canadian High Commission in India.“

Dutt is facing charges of possessing an AK-56 rifle and destroying the weapon during the the time of the bomb blasts.

Indian investigators accuse him of being connected and helping underworld dons Abu Salem and Dawood Ibrahim, thought to be the masterminds of the bombings.

The bombs were planted at strategic centres like the Bombay Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Air India, three five-star hotels and a selection of public places.

In addition to the 256 killed, over 700 people were maimed in the explosions in 1992 and 1993.

Dutt was arrested as a suspect and jailed for nearly 18 months before being released on bail. The actor has denied all the charges.

Police claim they have taped conversations of Dutt talking to underworld figures on various “incendiary issues“

The Bombay serial blast trial, considered the longest of its kind in the world, has so far examined 686 witnesses and the evidence collated has crossed over 13,000 pages.

Dutt, who has been exempted from attending the trial until after the filming in Calgary, is no stanger to controversy.

He has been charged with assault on a rickshaw driver, accused of slugging a journalist during a concert tour in the U.K. and had a serious drug problem.

His career took a nosedive around the time his first wife, Richa died of cancer. The actor who burst onto the screens as India‘s “Rocky“ is currently married to long-time girl friend, Rhea Pillai.

With over 60 films to his credit in over 20 years, Dutt is now ranked as one of Bollywood‘s top stars and has won many movie accolades including Filmfare‘s best actor award.

His latest role in “Dus“ is directed by Anubhav Sinha who has made two other Bollywood films in Calgary.

“The entire shooting gets over by Sept 25 in Mumbai. Calgary gets over by Aug 28. The whole film is intercut between Mumbai and Calgary and 75 percent of it is in Canada.”

Considered a big-budget production at 300 million rupees (about C$8.5 million), action sequence directors and a special effects team from Hollywood are being flow in for the production.

The movie is set to hit the screens next January.