Amid Kangana Ranaut controversy, Apurva Asrani gets accused of stealing the story of Hansal Mehta's Shahid

Shahid writer Sameer Gautam Singh has accused Apurva Asrani and Hansal Mehta of not giving due credit to him for the screenplay.

Hansal Mehta’s 2013 biographical drama based on the life of Indian lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi is being dragged through another controversy shortly after the spat between actress Kangana Ranaut and screenwriter Apurva Asrani. Shahid writer Sameer Gautam Singh has accused Asrani and Mehta of not giving due credit to him for the screenplay.

In a Facebook post, Gautam Singh has accused that Asrani hogged all the credit for Shahid although, he worked hard at the screenplay for four years. Sameer also dragged in director Hansal Mehta saying that he crumbled under Apurva’s demands of being accredited for the movie. “Let me start by saying that I am the writer of Shahid that no one in the industry knows about except my team and my Director. You all know of Apurva Asrani as the writer of Shahid,” writes a frustrated Sameer.

Apurva Asrani, Shahid

Apurva Asrani was recently involved in controversy with actress Kangana Ranaut over the screenplay for Simran.

Sameer states that he and Mehta worked on Shahid on the days leading up to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) when Apurva allegedly insisted that he should be credited for the screenplay. “I got to know from a team member that Apurva is insisting on a screenwriting credit for the film,” says Sameer. “At first, I did not know what to say and then I said ‘No!’ because I had given the film 4 years of my life with nothing but that to show for it. Apurva kept at it and refused to work any further unless he was given a Screenplay credit for Editing this ‘Fresh approach/ Narrative’ to the film.

Sameer goes on to say that Mehta finally submitted to Asrani and gave him the credits for Shahid’s screenplay. “As much as he fought for me, he finally gave in to Apurva’s demands and agreed to give him the credit.” Sameer claims that the false crediting has crippled his career with people not believing him for having written the film.

I am not even a charmer like Apurva. It was a struggle to prove yourself against a man with a better face recall. He had hijacked the credit and positioned himself as the writer from the time it got screened in MAMI. I was not there and it is my fault. I was attending to my ailing mother in Delhi and I had to be there,” writes Sameer beforing claiming that Asrani is a “regular offender” and has screwed over many people in the industry.

The poster for the film has credited Sameer Gautam Singh for writing the screenplay besides Apurva Asrani’s name being mentioned besides ‘Edited By’ and an additional writing credit. Furthermore, all three Sameer Gautam Singh, Hansal Mehta and Apurva Asrani were honoured with the Screen Award for Best Screenplay.

Here is the full Facebook post: