Veteran actor Ashokan revealed a scary incident when he was mistaken for a drug peddler and arrested by the Qatari police.
The incident had happened in 1988, when the actor had gone to visit a friend in Qatar. He recalls his time in the jail, crying about his fate.
“I had gone to Qatar to visit a friend. After enjoying the treat at his house, I and another friend returned to our hotel room. When I tried to open my room’s door using the key, I couldn’t.
Then 3 -4 Arabs came and offered us help. They opened the door, rushed inside with us and locked the door behind. We were really scared. They searched my bag and the entire room. It was only later that we realized that they were detectives,” recalls Ashokan.
What happened next
The police officers took the actor and his friend to the nearby police station and presented them in front of their superior. Ashokan heard the officers speaking animatedly in Arabic.
Meanwhile, his friend was taken to another room by a police officer. “When my friend came back, I saw that his face was red. He told me that he was beaten by the officer. We were then locked up in separate prison cells. There were two Pakistani prisoners in the cell with me. I cried thinking that my life has ended. The next morning I understood that I was locked up in the cell where Keralites had been imprisoned earlier,” notes the actor.
Ashokan says that he couldn’t help but think about his mother and began to think that he would never come out of the prison. However, in the morning, his sponsor arrived at the station and convinced the police officers that he was an actor. Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan were the only two Indian actors the officers were familiar with. When they asked Ashokan whether he knows them, the former replied that he knew them well.
It was only later that Ashokan realized the real reason behind his arrest. Someone had tried to trap him by sending a few stills from a movie in which he had acted as a drug addict. The stills were from the movie 'Season' written and directed by iconic film maker Padmarajan. The movie starring Mohanlal in the lead role narrates the story of a drug mafia. If one movie had put him behind the bars, it was another which helped him come out of jail.
“Movie 'Anantharam' directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan is the reason why I was out of jail. A new paper in the Gulf had published an article about the movie. The news report said that the movie was chosen to be exhibited at the London Film Festival. The report had details about the movie and me as well. My sponsor showed that news report to the police officers and they were convinced,” recalls Ashokan.