Ajmal Kasab awaits punishment, hanged in new film

Mumbai: In real life, Ajmal Kasab held guilty in the Mumbai terror attack awaits punishment--maximum being death penalty -but in reel life the lone surviving Pakistani gunman is already hanged.

After a spate of international documentaries on Mumbai carnage, a full length movie--Ashok Chakra--set against the backdrop of the country`s most audacious terror attack will hit the threatres on May 28.

Rajan Verma, a newcomer, dons the role of Kasab and has a striking resemblance to the 22-year-old Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist.

The film`s first promos, which will see Rajan in a full nude scene accepting his guilt in a monologue, will be out on May 9. In the film, Kasab is sentenced to death and hanged.

"Months before the (Mumbai) trial ended, we had decided that Kasab will be hanged to death in the film, it was the only just thing to do. The film shows Kasab accepting his guilt before his death," Verma said.

Kasab was yesterday found guilty of mass murder and waging war against India by a fast track court in Mumbai for which the maximum punishment is death penalty.

The film which was earlier titled Total Ten has been directed by S P Munishwar and produced by Hari Om Sharma under the banner of Sapna Films Production.

"The USP of the movie is that the guy who plays Kasab looks exactly like him, that is the added attraction of the movie. I play Vijay Salaskar, a sharp shooter. I have an image of a policeman, so they approached me with this role. They showed me some pictures and briefed me about the him," Sudesh Berry, who plays the role of the slain police officer said.

"One of my friends was familiar with Salaskar, so he also told me about the man in real life. He was a simple man, not one of the typical foul-mouthed policemen we generally see," he added.

The Rs 2.5 crore film based on media reports of the carnage and accounts of police officials and survivors pieces together the 60-hour ordeal the city went through.

Other actors in the movie include Homi Wadia (Hemant Karkare), Ashok Kulkarni (Ashok Kamte) and Ashish Vidyarthi (Tukaram Ombale). The film also has a host of small-time actors playing Kasab`s Pakistani handlers.

Apparently trying to cash in on the November 26, 2008 terror attacks filmmakers had registered titles like `Operation 5-Star Mumbai`, `Bird`s Point of View: Taj Terror`, `26/11-Mumbai Under Terror`, `Dahshat Ka Halla` and `Shootout at Oberoi`, but only a few projects has taken off.

Bhojpuri star Kamal Rashid Khan`s upcoming sequel to Deshdrohi also centres on the "sacrifices made by ATS officers" during the terror attacks.

"My film got delayed because of the new developments in the case. Now that Kasab has been convicted and sentencing expected we are planning to begin shooting soon and the film will be released in February next year," said Khan, who is also the producer of the film.

Khan claimed that he has already signed on Anupam Kher, Siddharth Koirala, Ashmit Patel and Payal Rohatgi for the film.

Mainstream filmmakers had stayed away from making a film on the carnage after Ram Gopal Varma`s visit to the terror-struck Taj hotel after the attack landed him in a controversy.

Movies that have been made on real-life terror incidents include Anurag Kashyup`s Black Friday (2004), based on the 1993 serial blasts, Apoorva Lakhia`s Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007) on a 1991 underworld encounter, and Nishikant Kamat`s Mumbai Meri Jaan (2008) on the serial train blasts of July 7, 2006.