In a shocking turn of events, Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has called for an indefinite strike effective from 11 February.
According to The Times of India, the strike comes as an after effect of arrests of FWICE and Film Studios Setting And Allied Mazdoor Union members made by the BKC police, Mumbai on 10 February. The action was taken after a complaint (assault) was lodged by Registrar of Trade Union.
"This is to bring to your attention that in furtherance of a bogus complaint of assault filed by the Registrar of Trade Unions, the President of FWICE, Shri Kamlesh Pandey, the Hon. Gen. Secretary Shri Dilip Pithva, the Jt. Secretary Shri Zahid Sheikh and General council members Shri Feroz Khan Raja and Shri Sudhakar Sharma have been summarily detained by the BKC police without any inquiry or permitting them to state their case," stated the letter issued by FWICE.
The statement urges producers and people from other divisions of the film industry to come together to fight the "illegal" behaviour the bodies have been subjected to. It also highlights the police decision to let Gangeshwarlal Shrivastav (who has been banned by the industry) walk free sans inquiry.
The aforementioned individual is reportedly a criminal who is notorious for fleecing producers by threatening them. "However, he managed to solicit support from BJP MLA, Ram Kadam who helped him file the complaint due to which we were arrested. To ensure that the matter is taken seriously and reaches a conclusion, we have decided to call a strike in protest," Prem Singh Thakur, Chairman, Film Studios Setting And Allied Mazdoor Union, told TOI.
Additionally, TP Aggarwal, resident of Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA), informed that since the strike was called on a short notice, the producers had to quickly reschedule shooting dates.