‘Chamkila’ a flashback for us: Phillaur villagers recall killings : The Tribune India

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‘Chamkila’ a flashback for us: Phillaur villagers recall killings

‘Chamkila’ a flashback for us: Phillaur villagers recall killings

A villager points to the house outside which singer Amar S Chamkila was shot dead at Mehsampur village in Jalandhar. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Deepkamal Kaur

Jalandhar, April 13

A day after Diljit Dosanjh-starrer ‘Chamkila’ got released on Netflix, middle-aged and elderly residents of Mehsampur village near Phillaur recalled the horror of March 8, 1988 when singer and the rising star of that era Amar Singh Chamkila and his wife Amarjot Kaur were gunned down. Having watched the movie, especially its very first scene, they said that it seemed like a flashback.

Jeevan, husband of Mehsampur village sarpanch Sarabjit Kaur, said, “I was just 11-12 years old at that time and have clear memories of the incident. It was an engagement function, just a day ahead of the marriage of Steve Dillay from our village. His father Balehar Singh had come down from Canada for his son’s marriage. The family had put up tents outside the house where the couple had been invited. We had heard then that the family had shelled out Rs 8,000 for Chamkila’s show, which was a huge sum in those days.”

He recalled, “The function was held around 2 pm. Such was the craze to see the couple that the entire village including all youth, men and women had gone there. I had gone there with my friends. Since this house was on the outer side of the village, we had walked down 1.25 km. Just ahead of their performance, the couple was made to have lunch at the house of Joginder Pal from our village, which was just at a turn away from Balehar’s house. We saw their Ambassador car start from Joginder Pal’s house and reach the venue of performance, which was called ‘akhara’ then.”

As exactly shown in the very first scene of the biopic, the couple was gunned down just as they stepped out of their car to go inside the venue, said Daljit Singh Jeeta, the village panch. “I can very clearly recall the scene of bloodshed. I was a Class IX student then. We ran wherever we could to get cover. We entered a house and did not even dare to peep outside. The police came very late. It was almost one and a half hours later that the police came and we all slowly gathered the courage to get out of our hideouts,” the panch said. He said that there was stark similarity in the real and reel life scenes.

He also shared that Imtiaz Ali’s team had given the house of Balehar Singh some fresh touches of paint before the shoot as the house was locked and the family had not come from Canada for long.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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