Actor portraying Hafiz Saeed in Phantom goes underground

LAHORE: The actor who plays the Jamatud Dawa (JUD) Chief Hafiz Saeed – alleged by India to be the Mumbai attacks mastermind – in Saif Ali Khan’s upcoming film Phantom is in hiding for security reasons, IANS reported.

Phantom stars Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif in a story that revolves around the tragic November 26 Mumbai attacks at the Taj Hotel, which killed at least 166 people. The film is set five years after the attacks, when a retired army officer leads a mission to seek out and kill the terror masterminds.

The film, which is based on the novel ‘Mumbai Avengers’ by S. Hussain Zaidi, was recently banned by the Lahore High Court after a petition was filed by Hafiz Saeed. The JUD chief was tried and acquitted by the Lahore High Court in 2010.

Saif Ali Khan’s subsequent statement, saying that he has “lost faith in Pakistan”, caused an uproar in Pakistan.

The actor, Shahnawaz Pradhan, is thus being kept underground as a precautionary measure.

“The security of all our actors is extremely important for us and now that his identity is revealed, there are precautionary measures being taken,” the film’s spokesperson said in a statement.

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