No train bogey was set on fire in Vadodara to recreate the 2002 torching of Sabarmati Express at Godhra as part of a documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railway officials as well as crew members of a film production company said on Monday.
Their clarification came after some media reports said an unused railway coach was on Sunday set ablaze at Pratapnagar station in Vadodara during the enactment of the Godhra train burning incident.
However, both the Western Railway (WR), under whose jurisdiction the Vadodara division falls, and the production house involved in the film refuted the reports.
According to crew members supervising the shooting, a damaged coach, used for mock drills by the Railways, was provided by the authorities to recreate the burning of S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra by a mob on February 27, 2002.
"We are shooting a biopic documentary depicting life and times of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This documentary film will be released only on social media.
"We are using a damaged railway coach, used for mock drills, to recreate the Godhra train burning incident," said Jayraj Gadhvi, a supervising executive of the film.
Dhaval Pandya, a senior executive overseeing the shooting, clarified that the coach was not set on fire Sunday as claimed in some media reports.
"We had not set the coach on fire yesterday as claimed by by some newspapers. After shooting that damaged coach in the same condition, we will apply special effects during editing to show it burning.
"That scene will be of only 20 seconds. We have not set the coach on fire. It will be done on the editing table only. Some media persons misinterpreted our version," said Pandya.
He the documentary on Modi has been tentatively named as Sangharsh.
Western Railway PRO (Vadodara division) Khemraj Meena also refuted the media reports and maintained a damaged coach was used in the shooting.
"A Mumbai-based production company, Benchmark Production, has taken permission from our headquarters to shoot at Pratapnagar and at Vishwamitri station of Vadodara.
"They are using a damaged coach used for mock drills. There are no reports from our officials which suggested that the coach was set on fire yesterday," said Meena.
"The coach provided for the documentary was an unutilised mock drill bogie," Meena told PTI.
"It was given to the crew with the stipulation it would be returned in the same condition that it was given. We have charged money for its use."
The Godhra train burning scene was shot at Pratapnagar station and a set was built for it near the Coach Care Centre there, said the documentary's director, Umesh Shukla.
The producers of the documentary had been given four-day permission for shooting on the broad and narrow gauge routes in Pratapnagar and Vishwamitri stations, Meena said.
As many as 59 passengers were charred to death when the S-6 coach of the train was torched, leading to large-scale violence across Gujarat.
Modi was then chief minister of the state.