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Copyright row over mafia film

A Dhanbad based writer has moved court against the May 9 release of a film on the coal mafia, Koyelaanchal, alleging copyright violation.

The writer, former IAS officer Sriram Dubey, has filed two petitions in two courts, seeking action against the film’s producer and director and scriptwriter, for basing the film on his book, Agnivyuh, without his permission.

Produced and directed by Ashu Trikha and being released by AMA Entertainment, Koyelaanchal stars, among others, Sunil Shetty and Vinod Khanna. It was shot in several parts of Jharkhand, including Ramgarh and Ranchi.

Dubey’s first petition in the court of chief judicial magistrate, S.K. Pandey, on April 22 alleges copyright infringement by the director-producer and script writer under various sections of IPC.

Another petition filed on Monday in the court of Dhanbad civil judge (junior division) demands a ban on the film’s release.

Dubey said that director-producer Trikha and script writer Sanjay Masoom had contacted him several times over telephone in September-October last year to seek his help on the script.

“The director-producer said he would come to Dhanbad to meet me. But, ultimately they didn’t turn up,” he said.

Masoom denied the plot of his film was based on the book. “I had gone through Dubey’s book to understand the coal belt crime scene. But the story of the movie has nothing to do with the book. Dubey’s accusations are false,” he said, adding he had thanked him and wanted to include his name in the credits.

Dubey, who has worked in Dhanbad for decades, retired in 2003.

He wrote Agnivyuh, an exposition of coal mafia sponsored violence in Dhanbad, two years later. It was published by Rajkamal Prakashan in 2006.


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