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Bhanot family to sue Neerja producers for not honouring commitment

The family of the late braveheart says the producers had pledged 10% of the profit from the film to the Neerja Bhanot trust.

Mayur Lookhar

Neerja (2016), the biopic on the late Pan Am Flight 73 air hostess Neerja Bhanot, was widely appreciated by critics and audiences alike.

A year on, the film's producers are in trouble with the Bhanot family moving the Punjab and Haryana high court, accusing them of having failed to honour their commitment to pass on 10% of the profit made by the film to the Neerja Bhanot Trust and to the family.

"I will not comment on this issue at this stage. All I can tell you is that we will not tolerate injustice," Neerja’s brother Aneesh Bhanot told the IANS news agency.

Neerja was co-produced by Atul Kasbekar, Shanti Sivaram Maini, Bling Unplugged and Fox Star Studios. Kasbekar refused to comment on the matter except to say that the producers would issue an official statement soon.

Directed by Ram Madhvani, Neerja was a critical and commercial success. Made at a modest budget of Rs20 crore, the film went on to make Rs135 crore worldwide. It also won the National award for Best Hindi Film and lead actress Sonam Kapoor got a special mention from the jury.

Bhanot, an air hostess with Pan American World Airways, was on board Pan Am 73, which was hijacked by members of the Abu Nidal organization, an extremist Palestinian group, at Karachi in Pakistan. Bhanot sacrificed her life trying to save the passengers.