National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) has filed a police complaint against Arshad Warsi and Tusshar Kapoor for smoking inside the Chowgule College campus in Margao, Goa. The actors were shooting for Golmaal 3, being directed by Rohit Shetty.
Although Arshad is a smoker, Tusshar's is a case of mistaken identity. He is a non-smoker, and the actor who was caught lighting up with Warsi is Kunal Khemu.
General secretary Shekhar Salkar had alleged that Arshad was even signing autographs for students with a cigarette dangling from his fingers. The tobacco control cell has implemented the anti-smoking law ruthlessly within school and college campuses and about 100 yards around educational institutions.
Rohit says, "We were shooting at the campus on April 26 with Tusshar, Arshad and Kunal. Although the other two are smokers, with Tusshar it is a case of mistaken identity. In the last five years that I have worked with him, I have never seen him puff."
The director adds that smoking was not part of the scene, "In fact because of the strict rules enforced by the state tobacco cell if any film has a smoking scene in it, it gets an Adult certificate by the film censor board. Smoking scenes are banned in films."
When asked what was the plan of action now after the police complaint, he laughs, "As of now Arshad hasn't been arrested." Then gets serious, "We have no clue about the police complaint registered. Even the college authorities haven't notified us. This is the first that I am hearing of it. Of course, if anyone informs us we are fully prepared to co-operate with them."
I do smoke but I was smoking outside the college campus and signing autographs near my van. There must be some mistake. Tusshar doesn't smoke at all so I don't know who is complaining about him and why. Nobody has asked us to go anywhere to give a statement and no complaint has been registered by the college. If the time comes, we shall extend our cooperation. I don't think we have done anything wrong. I would never smoke inside a school, college or educational institution - Arshad Warsi
Yes, I was shooting there that day but I don't smoke. In fact I haven't touched a cigarette in my life." - Tusshar Kapoor
In his complaint to the district Superintendent of Police Allen D'Sa and officials of the state tobacco control cell, NOTE general secretary Shekhar Salkar said the actors, who were shooting at the Chowgule College campus in Margao were caught smoking inside the campus. The NOTE official has also submitted four photographs showing Warsi and Tusshar Kapoor smoking in the college campus to the enforcement authority. Chief Secretary Sanjiv Srivastava in the last state tobacco control cell meeting had specifically asked the police to implement the anti-smoking law ruthlessly within school and college campuses and about 100 yards around educational institutions.
In the promos of Prakash Jha's Raajneeti, Ranbir Kapoor is shown smoking a cigarette on screen. Since smoking is banned on screen, how was this promo passed? The director says, "My trailer which shows Ranbir is smoking was given a U certificate by the Censor Board. I have no idea whether the censor board has given any notification on smoking. I haven't got it."
Ajay Devgn, who is part of Golmaal 3 isn't part of this smoking controversy. But he was caught and fined for smoking during the shooting of London Dreams in Chandigarh, more than a year ago. Following complaints, the Chandigarh police pulled up Devgn for breaking the ban on public smoking in the city - a no smoking zone. A fine of Rs 200 was imposed on Devgn for allegedly smoking inside the Chandigarh airport, violating the no public smoking ban in the city. His act raised objections from social activists and environmentalists demanding strict action against him. After receiving the challan, Devgn refused to contest the case legally and paid up.