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‘Chhapaak’ Acid Attacker’s Religion Changed? Swarajya Got It Wrong

Reviewers who have watched the movie have confirmed that the religion of the acid attacker is unchanged. 

4 min read
‘Chhapaak’ Acid Attacker’s Religion Changed? Swarajya Got It Wrong
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Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone on Tuesday, 7 January joined a protest rally against the attack on students and teachers of JNU by masked miscreants, alleged to be members of the BJP-affiliated students organisation ABVP.

Though BJP Delhi spokesperson and party supporters called for her upcoming film Chhapaak to be banned, the actor also received praise from Twitter users and some celebrities.


Caution: Spoilers ahead

Swarajya magazine published an article on Wednesday, 8 January, claiming that the name of the acid attacker in the film has been changed from ‘Naeem Khan’ to Rajesh.

The headline of the article read: ‘The Ways Of Bollywood: In Deepika Padukone-Starer Chhapaak, Acid Attacker Naeem Khan Becomes ‘Rajesh’’

The archived version of the article can be viewed here.


“As part of a backlash against Padukone’s JNU “meet and greet”, social media users researched the names of the characters involved in the movie Chhapaak and conspicuously found the name of main perpetrator Naeem Khan absent,” the article read.

The article further mentioned, “A cursory glance on IMDB though shows that there is no character named either Naeem or Imran present in the list.”

The same was also shared on their Twitter handle.

By 6:30 pm, 'Nadeem Khan' clocked over 60,000 tweets and 'Rajesh' over 76,000 tweets.


In 2005, Laxmi was disfigured for life when a man called Nadeem Khan and three others allegedly hurled acid at her in Delhi's upscale Khan Market.

The Quint’s Senior Editor Suparna Thombare, who watched the film at the press screening, confirmed that the religion of the acid attacker is unchanged. Nadeem has been identified in the film as 'Babboo' aka 'Bashir Khan'.

She added that Rajesh is the name of boyfriend of Laxmi, who has been identified as Malti in the film.

Further, Abhinandan Sekhri, co-founder, Newslaundry, watched the movie’s premiere screening and said that “religion of the attacker has not changed.”

Fours hours after publishing the story, Swarajya updated the article and changed their headline to, ‘After Outrage Over Chhapaak, Reports Claim Prime Accused Naeem Khan Not Given Hindu Name in Film

The magazine issued a 'clarification' at the end of the article saying: The earlier version of this story had reported that the filmmakers may have changed the name of accused Naeem Khan to Rajesh, it has been updated based on latest reports.


Citing an India Today report, Swarajya added, “The name Naeem Khan has been changed to Basheer Khan and that the character Rajesh in question is a friend of Malti, who is the victim, and not an accused in the matter.”


Several social media users took to Twitter and questioned the “moral responsibility” of the filmmakers to show the truth.

Facebook users, too, shared an image making the false claim.

(Update: This article was updated as Swarajya magazine changed the headline and the content of their article.)

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Topics:  Deepika Padukone   JNU   Chhapaak 

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