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Excise raid during shoot of Rahman, Neena Gupta’s web series 1000+ Babies; Najeem Koya, FEFKA claim criminal conspiracy

A group of excise officers had arrived for raid at Najeem Koya’s hotel suite at Erattupetta

Excise raid during shoot of Rahman, Neena Gupta’s web series 1000+ Babies; Najeem Koya, FEFKA claim criminal conspiracy
Najeem Koya and B Unnikrishnan
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 05.49 AM, Jun 08, 2023


Scriptwriter-director Najeem Koya and FEFKA representatives, including director B Unnikrishnan, lashed out against a raid conducted by a group of excise officers, in the name of finding drugs. The raid was conducted on Monday at a hotel in Erattupetta, where Najeem was shooting for his upcoming Disney+ Hotstar web series 1000+ Babies that has Rahman and Neena Gupta in the lead.

At the press meet held in Kochi, Najeem explained a group of officers barged into his suite and began searching the rooms, even the tailored curtains and undergarments of the filmmaker – all the while asking, “Where is the stuff?” The officers didn’t find any illegal substance after the raid.

Both Najeem and Unnikrishnan also expressed that there was a criminal conspiracy to apprehend people in cinema. Unnikrishnan, who is also the general secretary of FEFKA, added that the purpose of the press meet was to make it clear that the film industry is “not a place where people can come and do what they want whenever they please”.

The director further added, that they are ready to cooperate with the agencies to get rid of the menace of drugs, but that doesn’t mean the officers – even in the guise of shadow police – can turn up on sets or hotels and disrupt work.

Unnikrishnan also called for action against the person who had prompted the officials to conduct the raid. “There’s an element of framing an individual there, and the agency must find out who the person is, know their intention and take action against them,” he said.

On Tuesday, Najeem lodged a complaint with the Chief Minister of Kerala. Kerala Excise Minister MB Rajesh has sought explanation from the authorities.

Last month, the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) had organised a press meet to state that they wouldn’t be collaborating with actors who use drugs on sets. KFPA official M Renjith said, “If they do something in an altered state of mind, our associations will be blamed. Why should we function like that? So, all the organisations have decided we will not be cooperating with them,” he said, while informing of the unofficial ban on actors Shane Nigam and Srinath Bhasi.