Time was when a neighbourhood park was a safe zone, where children could play unaccompanied by adults. But even this space seems to be shrinking — at least in Hyderabad.
On Friday morning, an actor lost control of a car during the outdoor shooting of a Telugu teleserial, “Indrani” and ploughed into a group of children playing in a tiny municipal park in Chandanagar. Six-year-old Satwik Reddy died on the spot. His friend, 9-year-old Satwika, was seriously injured. Satwik's sister escaped unhurt.
Actor Archana did not know how to drive a car. But she was required to give a 10-minute shot. A driver sat beside her, ready to guide her. But minutes after the cameras rolled, the Indica car hit the pavement and went into the park, said a police officer.
Satvik’s father, retired lance naik Srinivas Reddy, is in shock. The Reddys had gone on a round of festive visits, leaving the children in the care of some relatives.
“We have booked Archana and unit manager Venkateshwar Rao of Gemini TV for causing death due to negligence and arrested them,” said Inspector N Venkateshwarlu of Chandanagar police station. Action would also be taken against the television channel.
“I was told that the driver would change gear and control the vehicle through the hand brake. But it did not happen,” Archana said. The police suspect she had panicked when the car gained speed and instead of the brake, pressed the accelerator.