02 August, 2021

Lines From Balmiki

A criminal, ex-convict and actor plays himself

Bhaskar Mallick
Lines From Balmiki

There are no butterflies in Nigel Akkara’s washboard stomach before the release of Muktodhara. He does a double act of being both the lead and the USP of the Bengali movie—Akkara, who had been in jail for eight years, plays himself. Handsome, bearded and six feet tall, he coolly announces that the pre-release hype and hoopla hardly excites him. “In fact, I’m hassled. Promotional media interviews and TV appearances are a big drain on my time and energy. My first priority is Calcutta Facilities Management, the manpower-supplying company I and 38 other ex-prisoners make an honest living out of.”

Directors Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee clearly cast Nigel, 34, for his sex appeal as well as his personal history. Jailed in 2001 on a murder charge after years in crime, Nigel was given a life sentence in 2006 by a sessions court before he was acquitted in 2009 by the Calcutta High Court due to lack of evidence. While he was doing time, then IG of Prisons, B.D. Sharma, unleashed a novel experiment to...

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