Ajanta Sinha Roy brought fresh allegations of extortion against the director.
Last Updated: 11.45 AM, Apr 15, 2023
Earlier this month, actress Swastika Mukherjee brought allegations of sexual harassment against one of the producers, Sandeep Sarkar, of Arindam Bhattacharya’s Shibpur. After she complained to the police and EIMPA (Eastern Indian Motion Pictures Association), Sandeep stepped down as the producer. Now another co-producer, Ajanta Sinha Roy brought fresh allegations of extortion against the director.
In a chat with OTTplay, Ajanta said, “Not just as a woman, but also as a human being, I stand by Swastika Mukherjee. Her ordeal is unimaginable. But the director of the film, Arundam Bhattacharya, took us for a ride.”
Elaborating further, Ajanta explained that Arindam has been extorting money from them. “Initially, the budget of the film was Rs 75 lakh. Arindam kept on increasing the budget. When it reached Rs 1.5 cr, I stepped in and took control of the marketing and promotion. That is when he started threatening me. He constantly name-dropped. He claimed that the directors are all-in-all in the Bengali film industry and I will have to listen to him. He said Srikant Mohta listens to Srijit Mukherji and Anirban Bhattacharya. He, in fact, claimed that directors are the most powerful in the industry and he will ‘shut my business with help of Swastika Mukherjee’s fans’,” she said.
Ajanta further claimed that she never had a chance to meet Swastika. “I never spoke with her and never get a chance to explain. Arindam kept on saying that Swastika will not take part in promotions. He further texted that Swastika has more value than Parambrata Chatterjee, another lead actor in the film. During the edit, he deleted crucial scenes of Parambrata and then we stopped him. Mamata Shankar plays an important character and suddenly Arindam suggested dropping her character while editing. I could not accept that. She is a veteran actress, who came and shot in the film. How could he think of that?” asked Ajanta, adding, “He did the same with BGM. We hired Amit Chatterjee for the BGM and he suddenly started working with a sound engineer at EditFX. He asked me to discard Amit’s work. And then tried to stop our team from working during postproduction at EditFX studio.”
Ajanta produced the WhatsApp chats between Arindam and her. “I am not a celebrity that people will listen to me. I took time to gather evidences. He wants me to step out of the promotion and marketing plan. I don’t want to do it. We want to release the film as soon as possible – with or without promotions,” she said. Shibpur was initially scheduled to release on May 5. However, after the controversy, the release is pushed. “I will talk to the distributors and will release the film by June end or the beginning of July,” she said.