Photographer Hanumantrao Patil, who recently faced allegations of disrupting a Salman Khan shoot, presents his side of the story
By Meirah Bhastekar (MID-DAY; March 17, 2012)
Close on the heels of reports about photographer Hanumantrao Patil allegedly barging in on the sets and disrupting a Salman Khan shoot at Mehboob Studios in Bandra, the man in question states that the claims were based on false facts.
Hanumantrao Patil with Salman Khan in earlier times
In fact, the members of Cine Still Photographers’ Association (CSPA) are upset with the words a leading daily has used to describe Patil — ‘notorious’, ‘self-styled king’ and ‘mafia lord’. Kundan Goswami, treasurer of CSPA, says, “What has Patil done to deserve the title ‘mafia lord’? He is neither a gangster nor a murderer.”
Hanumantrao Patil incidentally has worked on several Salman Khan films. According to him, Salman is said to be very fond of him and even refers to him as ‘maharaj’. “Salman bhai is very supportive of the technicians and workers in the industry. He cares about us and I am confident that he will not say anything against us,” says Patil.
Explaining what exactly took place on the said day, Patil says, “I went for the inspection on behalf of CSPA to check if the photographer hired for the shoot is a member of our association. When I reached there, the shooting hadn’t begun yet and Salman bhai was not present on the set. I found out that the photographer is from Dubai and was not a member of our association. So I spoke to the producer and he agreed to pay the membership amount for the photographer and a fine. I even issued a receipt for the same. Everything happened peacefully and I left. Hence, there is no question of me stopping the shoot.”
Patil has been a still photographer in the industry for over 40 years and is a founder member of CSPA. Currently he is the elected president of CSPA as well as the head of the vigilance committee. He is also a member of the vigilance group of Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE).
Patil goes on to add, “FWICE stops shoots only if they have been going on for more than 12 hours. And this is done just to safeguard the rights of technicians and worker in the industry who are exploited and over worked.”
He says, “On several occasions, Dinesh Chaturvedi and Prem Singh Thakur (who are also a part of FWICE) have requested me to raid film sets at one and two in the night. I am shocked that they have been quoted talking against me.”