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Aarakshan sets demolished over disputed land

Posted By: Kalyani Prasad Keshri
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A major film set in Bhopal, where patchwork scenes for Prakash Jha's film Aarakshan, was about to be shot featuring actors Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan, was demolished by the local authorities. The demolition was ordered by the District Magistrate's office.

The set, which comprised of a huge bungalow, that belonged to the Amitabh Bachchan's character in Aarakshan, was also uprooted. A part of the set, which was set up as an informal school for the film was also thrown over. The entire set was wide-spread over an acre and a half of land.

Reportedly, Jha had leased out the land from Minal Residencey Group, without investigating that it was a disputed property. The shoot of Aarakshan started from January end and continued till the end of March on the constructed set.

Told Prakash to PTI, "We had no idea that the land where we had constructed the set was disputed. But I do feel that even though the demolition had to go through, the authorities knew we had constructed only temporary structures for the purpose of shooting. Why demolish it? It would have been dismantled within a month. Everyone in Bhopal knew it was a set."

"The demolition has definitely upset our plans. The reason we had left the set standing was because there were a couple of patchwork scenes with Saif and Deepika that remained to be shot. Now we have to work out alternative arrangements," he said.

ADM Bhopal Rajnish Shrivastava said, "It was an illegal structure, so it was demolished. The High Court had directed us to demolish the structure. We did what we were supposed to, because the construction on that area was not legal."

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