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Paan Singh Tomar, which releases on March 2, two years after it was completed (producer UTV Spotboy had other movies it wanted released first), is the remarkable story of an athlete and a soldier who became a dacoit, part of the dreaded patheon of Chambal Valley dakus who included Phoolan Devi and Man Singh. Paan Singh Tomar was an exceptional athlete, who ruled the steeplechase event (a 3,000 metre obstacle race that includes a water jump) at the National Games seven years in a row (his record stood unbeaten for 10 years) in the 1950s and 1960s, and represented India at international competitions. He was a Subedar in the Indian army when he took premature retirement to go back to his village near Morena in Madhya Pradesh. There he became entangled in a dispute over land. He approached the police and the panchayat, but got no help, even though he showed them his gold medals and newspaper cuttings and photographs of his exploits. So he decided to take the law into his hands and eventually became a dacoit. He died in a gunbattle with the police in 1981, at the age of 50.
Every morning, Malkhan combs his hair after a bath and applies the trademark 'lal tilak' on his forehead, preserving his old age daku look. Malkhan was the subject of many dacoit movies but he has never contested an election. 2b1af7f3a8