Fenil and Bollywood

Baabarr based on Raif Qureshi’s life?

Posted on: September 3, 2009

Although director Ashu Trikha vehemently denies his film Baabarr is based on gangster Rafiq Qureshi’s life, the similarities are too striking to ignore

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 01, 2009)


Director Ashu Trikha is ready with his film Baabarr which releases this month. Apparently, the film is based on gangster Rafiq Qureshi’s life and the  dreaded D2 gang, who ruled UP and especially Kanpur, for over 30 years. Although the filmmaker denies this, there are far too many similarities in the film to ignore.

A source said, “Rafiq, who was the leader of the D2 gang, was one of the most feared gangsters. The gang began operating in 1975 and Rafiq joined the gang in 1981 and immediately took over the reins. There were six brothers in the gang. In 2005, Rafiq was arrested in Kolkata. He was taken for interrogation to Kanpur where he was killed. Thereafter, two of his brothers, Taufiq and Iqbal were also killed. Two brothers, Afzal and Shafiq, are still in prison while another brother, Atiq is still absconding.”

Newcomer Soham plays the role of Rafiq, who is called Baabarr in the film. Commenting on the similarities, the source said, “The similarities are — Barbarr’s wife is shown fighting a human rights case against the government for the unlawful killing of her husband just like Rafiq’s wife. Barbarr gets married in jail while in custody just like Rafiq. Also, Rafiq belonged to Kuli bazaar where the film is being shot. There are also references to a lady politician, Lilavati (referencing Mayawati), who is shown being supportive of the gang. A minister, Kayam Singh (referencing Mulayam Singh) proves to be a nemesis for the gang. In the film, there is also a sequence where the Lucknow police give an affidavit in Kolkata court stating that they would not kill Barbarr in police custody, which happened with Rafiq too. However, Rafiq got killed within 24 hours of being shifted to UP. Apart from these, Baabarr also has six brothers just like Rafiq.”

Ashu Trikha denied the story. He said, “I am not aware of what you are saying. It’s a completely fictional story and I have gone and shot as per my script. It’s a commercial film and I have no idea if the film’s story is similar to anybody’s life.”

When pressed further about the similarities in the film, Ashu said, “I have no idea who your source is and where you found the similarities. I shot the film for 55 days in Lucknow but not a single person told me about the resemblance you are talking about. Yes, there are six brothers in my film and all the incidents you have mentioned are also there in my film; it must be a co-incidence.”

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