The government of Punjab has stopped a new film by Abu Aleeha dead in its tracks, despite prior clearance from the censorship boards. The film, slated to be released January 28, is based on Javed Iqbal, the serial killer who murdered 100 young boys in Lahore during the 1990s.
An order from the Government of Punjab Information and Culture Department says it has, ‘decided to re-examine [the film] in the wake of persistent complaints received from different quarters.’ It does not state when a final decision will be announced.
Speaking to The Tribune, an unnamed senior official of Punjab Film Censor Board confirmed, “Punjab Information and Culture Department stopped the release of Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer due to the objection over the film from the public.”
It is not the first time the film’s release has been halted. ‘Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer’ was originally supposed to be released last year, but its premier was delayed first by an inquiry from the censorship board, and later due to the rise in Covid-19 cases.
The film is written and directed by Abu Aleeha and produced by Javed Ahmed Kakepoto.
Taking to Twitter, Abu Aleeha confirmed that the film would not be released as scheduled, pointing to Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar as the cause for the delay.
“The latest news is that [Chief Minister] Sardar Usman Buzdar’s government has stopped the showing of Javed Iqbal. This comes after the censor board approved the film, which is why we are going to the high court tomorrow,” he said.
The infamous Javed Iqbal terrorized Lahore in the late 1990s. The serial killer was convicted of raping and murdering at least 100 young boys. Iqbal would dismember the victims’ bodies and dissolve them in acid, dumping the remains in a sewage canal near his house. He was caught after he sent a letter confessing to his crimes to the media. He was arrested and died by suicide in prison.