A theatre in Begusarai district of Bihar was used to make a high-definition copy of “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”, and the same was used by a piracy gang to extort money from producers of the blockbuster, the Hyderabad police said.
The police have busted the Delhi-based inter-state movie piracy gang with the arrest of six persons, including Divakar Kumar, owner of Veena Cinema Hall at Tivhra in Begusarai.
Others who have been arrested are Rahul Mehta, Jitender Kumar Mehta, Taufiq, Md Ali, all from Delhi and Chandan from Bihar. Another accused from Bihar, Monu, is missing and on the run.
The accused will be presented before a court here on Wednesday.
Interestingly, Jitender and Toufiq were also arrested in 2015 for making a pirated copy of “Baahubali: The Beginning”, the first movie in the successful franchise.
While Rahul Mehta, who was in Hyderabad to extort money from the “Baahubali” production banner Arka Mediaworks Entertainment Ltd, was arrested, others were nabbed in Delhi and Bihar and brought to Hyderabad on transit warrant.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Crime Station) Avinash Mohanty, Arka representative Prasad Devineni had lodged a complaint on April 29 that they received a call from someone posing as film anti-piracy activist, demanding Rs 15 lakh.
The caller told the firm that he has a pirated copy and warned that if the money was not paid, he would upload it on internet.
However, instead of arresting the caller by tracking his phone, the police decided to go for a thorough probe to reach the roots of the piracy racket. On their advise, the production firm engaged the caller in a dialogue and sought proof of the pirated copy. He sent a sample video and it turned out to be high-definition copy of the movie.
The police, with the help of experts, found that the film was copied from a theatre in Begusarai, breaching satellite technology security.
While Arka representatives continued dialogue with Rahul Mehta by inviting him to Hyderabad, the police continued their probe and arrested the theatre owner. However, Monu, a former employee of one of the satellite broadcasters of the movie who copied the movie, managed to escape.
The police arrested Rahul in Hyderabad and on the basis of his information nabbed other members of the gang in Delhi.