Ashutosh Gowarikar's mega epic Jodha-Akbar seems headed for trouble with an animal rights group urging Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to probe the alleged cruel treatment of animals during shooting.
People for Animal (PFA) had filed a police complaint Nov 18 alleging that animals were treated badly during the shooting of the film. He has alleged that Gowarikar, the film's producer and director, had violated the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), saying elephants, camels and horses used in the film were ill-treated.
Shooting for the film, featuring Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan in title roles, has been going on here for over a month. Animal rights activists are angry over the use of 80 elephants, 100 horses and 55 camels for the shooting.
PFA chairman Naresh Kadyan has followed it up with a letter to the chief minister urging her to direct the police to follow up on his complaint.
"These animals are being subjected to great hardships during shooting," Kadyan said. He filed a complaint at the Amber police station of Jaipur Nov 18. "But nothing has happened so far," Kadyan told IANS.
The charge of mistreating animals is not new to the film unit. The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had sent a notice to Gowarikar's production company on the same matter a few weeks ago.
Jodha-Akbar is already in trouble as a Jaipur court has issued notice to the director for allegedly distorting historical facts. The notice was sent following a petition filed by a member of the Rajput community urging Gowarikar not to wrongly portray Jodhabai.
Narendra Singh Rajawat, secretary of Rajput Sabha, said in his petition that Jodhabai's actual name was Jagat Gosain and she was the daughter-in-law of Mughal emperor Akbar. He said the movie presented Jodhabai as Akbar's wife.