Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi and Vivek Oberoi in Zilla Ghaziabad

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Vinod Bachchan (Tanu Weds Manu) produces a dramatic thriller with director-newcomer Anand Kumar about the mafia in Ghaziabad and about northern gang wars in the ’80s and ’90. Sources reveal that this film “deals with politics and mafia as prevalent in Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh). Though there have been quite a films set in mafia of Mumbai and some have even explored the underbelly of Delhi, not many films have stepped in this part of the country. Zila Ghaziabad would be reflecting the current socio-political situation there.”

All main characters are based on real-life characters. Arshad Warsi’s role (“an absolute mean character”) is modelled on the outlaw Mahender Fauji. Vivek Oberoi plays another outlaw, Satbir Gujjar; he even intends to visit one of Satbir’s companions who is serving a term in jail to get to know more about this man.

Sanjay Dutt will play a real-life character too: Thakur Pritam Singh, a zamindar-turned-cop known as the badshah of Bulandshahr who was notorious for his unorthodox way of dealing with criminals. The producer explains, “The film is based on Thakur Pritam Singh but the story has been modified suitably to make it interesting for the 70mm. I too am from UP and belong to the Etah District of the state and for us, Thakur sa’ab was a hero. He was a man of courage and he had his inimitable style, which is still emulated by people of the area. When writer Vinay Sharma approached me with the script, I was prompted to make this film.”

Arshad Warsi is looking forward to his baddie role in this film which is said to have a rustic setting and to get into the underbelly of politics, mafia and cops.. “It is the kind of film which is more in a ‘Raajneeti‘ and ‘Omkara‘ mode. Part of the film’s shooting would be held in Delhi and Ghaziabad. For the rest we would be shooting in Wai where we would recreate the ambiance of Ghaizabad. We begin shooting this July,” he said. In addition to Sanju, Arshad and Vivek, Zila Ghaziabad will star Minissha Lamba, Aarya Babbar and Ravi Kishan.

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