Amidst chaos, Aishwariya shoots inside Harmandir Sahib

Aishwariya Rai

Amritsar – Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and the crew of Omung Kumar’s upcoming biopic, ‘Sarbjit’, shot a few scenes inside Harmandir Sahib ( Golden Temple) in Amritsar. Aishwarya plays the role of Sarbit’s sister in the film and actor Richa Chadda joined the star cast as the shooting continued at Nagli village near Amritsar.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) stopped the shoot of the biopic ‘Sarbjit’ after the bouncers accompanying film stars allegedly misbehaved with the media inside the Golden Temple complex on Friday.

Trouble began at around 9:30am, when actor Aishwarya Rai entered the Parikarma of the shrine to begin the shoot. Things turned ugly when the bouncers accompanying her started misbehaving with the local photojournalists, who were trying to grab a shot of the star.

First, the bouncers jostled with photographers and even tried to snatch the camera of the HT photographer.

The media persons later took up the matter with the SGPC, which asked the crew to wrap up the shoot. The entire crew then went inside a serai.

Though, the SGPC additional secretary Daljit Singh Bedi claimed that they were aware of the shoot, a section of the SGPC officials maintained that the SGPC had not given any formal permission for shooting inside the shrine.

Talking to Media, Bedi said, “The attitude of the film crew was uncalled for. We cannot tolerate such behaviour inside the shrine. We have to maintain the sanctity of the place as well as the convenience of the devotees.”

The crew was to shoot inside the langar ghar (community kitchen) and Parikarma, where Aishwarya had to take holy water from the sarovar. We thought it would be done in a peaceful manner but the bouncers spoiled everything so we had to halt the shoot.”

When asked why bouncers were looking into the security when the SGPC has its own task force, Bedi said: “The task force was asked to be around and were managing things. They actively intervened when the bouncers started creating problems in the Parikarma.”

Notably, when the confrontation took place, director Omung Kumar also threatened photographers saying he would take up matter with their organisations.

Meanwhile, amidst all the chaos, Aishwarya Rai maintained her calm and was seen waving at the pilgrims, who gathered to have a glimpse of the actor.

Later, the SGPC reviewed the request for shooting and gave a green signal to the crew. “They shot inside the langar hall and outside the periphery of the temple for some scenes that required Aishwarya to perform sewa,” said Dilbir Singh, spokesperson and additional secretary, SGPC.

Meanwhile, Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur also came to meet Aishwarya at Harmandir Sahib.

Aishwarya will portray the role of Sarabjit’s sister Dalbir Kaur in the film which also stars Randeep Hooda and Richa Chadha in a prominent role.

The Bollywood star has been shooting for the film at various locations in the city and is likely to be here till Feb 29. The team had visited the Golden Temple to shoot some scenes pivotal to the story, but was not granted permission by the SGPC due to which the shot had to be stalled for a while.

‘Sarbjit’ is a biopic on Sarabjit Singh, an Indian farmer who was convicted of terrorism and spying in Pakistan and was sentenced to death. He was attacked by inmates at a prison in Lahore in April 2013 and died a few days later.