'Sherni' row: Hyderabad Nawabs who killed `Tigress Avni' send legal notice to filmmakers

After the trailer of Vidya Balan's Sherni was out, netizens were all praises of the filmmaker and the lead actor. But Nawab Shafat Ali Khan and his son Azgar Ali Khan from Hyderabad is not impressed.

By Bhavana Sharma  Published on  23 Jun 2021 7:23 AM GMT
Sherni row: Hyderabad Nawabs who killed `Tigress Avni send legal notice to filmmakers

Hyderabad: After the trailer of Vidya Balan's Sherni was out, netizens were all praise for the filmmaker and the lead actor. But the father and son duo from Hyderabad is not impressed.

Vidya Balan starrer Sherni, which released on Amazon Prime Video has made headlines for all wrong reasons. Not many know that this film is based on the story of Avni, a tigress that was shot dead in 2018. People engaged to neutralize Avni were Hyderabad's certified sharpshooters Nawab Shafat Ali Khan and his son Azgar Ali Khan.

After watching Sherni trailer, the father and son duo has sent a notice to the filmmakers.

"The makers said the film is made only for the sake of entertainment and the story has nothing to do with Avni. What they have said and what they have shown are entirely two different stories. So we have sent notice to them. We have asked them to put a disclaimer. Facts have been distorted and the movie is laced with factual errors flick. They have portrayed the death of the tigress as murder. They projected as if it was done with a political motive. That is not the truth. We received orders from the government to kill the animal. We were invited by the government and a written document was sent to us to take part in the mission," Nawab Shafat Ali Khan told Newsmeter.

On November 2, 2018, Tigress Avni, a confirmed man-eater was shot dead. The government of Madhya Pradesh had made 13 attempts but to no avail. Once, they even brought an elephant but it ended up killing a woman in the village.

Avni and her cubs had taken shelter in agricultural fields and not in the forest. It killed many people in the village and that is when the government of Madhya Pradesh decided to call Shafat Ali Khan and Azgar Ali Khan.

"We were there for 45 days. We haven't charged a single penny but were delighted to help the government. The film showed that the vets who took part in the mission smuggled urine of tiger from Nagpur's zoo and sprinkled it in the area where the tiger and her cubs were roaming. I have filed an RTI. I have learnt that the vets did sprinkle the urine on the field. We never knew. We were not told the truth for two and a half years. Smelling the urine of another tiger would definitely make the tigress aggressive. It was a life and death situation," said Shafat.

He said usually when films are made inspired by true incidents, the makers need to personally approach the people who are part of that incident, take their permission, and portray only the truth. But in this case of Sherni, the two people who played the most important role in the mission were completely unaware and what was portrayed was nothing less than a shock to them.

"Facts have been distorted. There are so many factual errors. Why? To bring someone into the limelight and show that the tigress was deliberately killed? A disclaimer cannot answer all my questions. We have sent a rejoinder to them and the makers are denying the mistake. Somebody has intentionally done this to tarnish our image and we will not accept this. We have escalated this issue and are waiting for justice," he added.

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