The team of Udta Punjab filed a complaint with the cyber crime cell on Wednesday alleging that the film had been leaked online. And who do the suspect? The Central Board of Film Certification that has been engaging in a constant battle with the movie makers. Is a leak possible from the CBFC office? Actually, it is. In a similar controversy last year, Malayalam film Premam and guess who the anti-piracy cell narrowed it down to - three people who worked in the CBFC office.
The anti-piracy cell in July arrested Arun Kumar, Nidhin and Kumaran - who were temporary employees of the Board's regional cell.
Soon after the arrest, one Ranju also surrendered (conveniently, just before the police were about to nab him) for his involvement in the case.
Ranju was a friend of Arun Kumar's and took a copy of the film from the latter. He liked the film enough to send it to his friends in the Gulf and in Kerala through WhatsApp. One of these friends living in the Gulf sent the clip to his girlfriend, a Kollam resident.
This girlfriend then sent it to to three students in the city who then uploaded it to the internet. The police had earlier arrested three class 12 students.
And through this entire investigation, guess how the CBFC officials got caught - through the CBFC seal that was left on the leaked film!
Before the police nabbed the CBFC members though, the investigation extended to the director, Alphonse Puthren. Reports claimed that due to a rift between Puthran and the producer, the former may have been involved in the leak.
Alphonse however refuted these allegations, saying he wouldn't do something like this.
Meanwhile, producer Anwar Rasheed said that he had received a cold response from the authorities and the anti-piracy cell when he first approached them with the complaint. He was so disappointed that he even said that he would not be a part of any film-based association hereon.
The case is still ongoing. Officials of Anti-Piracy cell informed that materials including mobile phones and memory cards have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory. “We could identify all the criminals within a month and a half since we began investigating the case. We are awaiting FSL report to file the chargesheet,” the official said.