An elephant ran amok on Wednesday evening and killed its mahout (handler), at the shooting location of Mani Ratnam’s Ravanan that features Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.
The incident took place in the forests of Athirappally, 280 kilometres north of the Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The state forest department has sued Madras Talkies, the producers of the film for shooting a captive elephant without the requisite permission.
After killing Andavan, the 51-year-old mahout, the pachyderm attacked some vehicles and blocked traffic.
The film crew including Bachchan and Rai were resting in their rooms when the incident took place. The crew was moved to a safer place after the elephant had been tranquillised.
“We did not see the incident since we were on the other side of the bridge. When we heard about it we stopped shooting immediately,” said Santosh Sivan the cinematographer.
State Forest Minister Binoy Viswam told HT he has directed chief wildlife warden K.P. Ouseph to probe the mishap. According to initial reports, the unit hadn’t obtained the Central Animal Welfare Board’s permission for the shooting.
“We’ve registered cases against the owner of the elephant and the production company for violating provisions of the State Captive Elephants Management Act. The forest department wasn’t informed about the animal’s presence on the set,” said Vazhichal divisional forest officer A. Ranjan.