Stage semantics: ‘Razia in trouble’ cast and crew booked for vulgarity
By Shamsul Islam
Theatre owner said the police were targeting them because they turned down a request for a private performance for the cops.
FAISALABAD: Gulberg Police have registered a case against 15 stage show actors including film star, Nargis, for vulgar dancing during a stage performance of ‘Razia in trouble’ on Tuesday.
Police officials said that the cases were filed on charges of violating the code of ethics for stage dramas, spreading indecency, vulgarity, obscene songs and violation of Article 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Gulberg SHO Rana Umar Draz Khan, filed a formal complaint against that entire crew of the stage production, including the producer, director and monitor of the Arts Council. “These people are not fulfilling the requirements of any drama codes. They are openly flouting the law and promoting vulgarity,” he said.
“We have also charged these people for not completing their performances on time. This means that the theatre is open till late at night and this is a security risk,” Khan said, adding, “They are charging exorbitant amounts from spectators and they are violating all regulations pertaining to the acceptable code of conduct,” he said. On the complaint of the SHO, a case was registered under section 109, 188, 294 of the PPC against film star Nargis, stage stars Qaisar Piyam Gulfam, Agha, Sheereen, Khan Yousaf, Swaira, Ujala Malik and others. Police officials also booked theatre owner Raja Shahzad Qamar and manager Babar Ali for their involvement.
On the other hand, stage actors claimed that the act of the police was against the law. “There is a complete monitoring system and the police doesn’t have any jurisdiction to take these steps. The stage show was not violating any law. We were working from within the prescribed guidelines,” said Babar Ali.
“The truth of the matter is that we were asked to put on a special stage show for police officials and their friends. They wanted all forms of vulgarity on display but we refused,” said Raja Shahzad Qamar. “After we refused, they fabricated a case just to harass us,” he added.
A majority of the performers managed to flee the scene when the police raided the Shehzad Cinema and theatre hall on Tuesday afternoon. “There were no vulgar dances but we knew the police were seeking retribution for being turned down when they requested a private performance,” said Qamar. “When they raided I let most of the actors leave from the back door of the stage,” Babar Ali said.
The stage actors have filed an application before the area magistrate for the bail of the accused. “We will take this matter before court. The police cannot harass us for their own hypocrisy,” Qamar said.
Source: The Express Tribune