Pushpa-2 to be also shot in erstwhile Maoist hotbed of Malkangiri in Odisha - Hindustan Times
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Pushpa-2 to be also shot in erstwhile Maoist hotbed of Malkangiri in Odisha

ByDebabrata Mohanty
Apr 10, 2023 09:13 PM IST

Pushpa-2 makers are scouting for a location, where the lorry could be seen chasing a jeep which they found in Hantalguda that saw tribal pushback against the Maoists’ fightback in January 2020

Swabhiman Anchal, the 372 sq km area of Odisha’s Malkangiri district that became a theatre of Maoist violence between 2008 and 2021 with the area witnessing the killing of 101 civilians and 77 security personnel would now be a theatre of a different kind of shooting.

Swabhiman Anchal, the 372 sq km area of Odisha’s Malkangiri district (HT Photo/Sourced)
Swabhiman Anchal, the 372 sq km area of Odisha’s Malkangiri district (HT Photo/Sourced)

Mythri Movie Makers, the Hyderabad-based film production company which produced the movie Pushpa-1 in 2021, announced that they will shoot a part of Pushpa-2, the sequel to Telugu superstar Allu Arjun’s blockbuster film, in Swabhiman Anchal. The shooting will begin in May 2023.

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“Our senior production team comprising fight master, associate director and art director is satisfied after seeing the terrain of Swabhiman Anchal. Hantalguda, Saptadhara and Jhulapola are the locations which have been tentatively finalised for the filming of Pushpa-2,” said P Venkateswara Rao, production manager, Mythri Movie Makers.

He added, “We have taken permission from Malkangiri district collector and superintendent of police for shooting with drone cameras. We held a discussion with Border Security Force (BSF). Everyone was ready to cooperate in the shooting. If everything goes as per plan, the shooting could commence in May.”

The team is on the location for groundwork, he said.

Pushpa-2 makers are scouting for a location, where the lorry could be seen chasing a jeep which they found in Hantalguda that saw tribal pushback against the Maoists’ fightback in January 2020.

Rao said about 150 to 200 people would be in Swabhiman Anchal for the shooting. However, it is not known if Allu Arjun, the main protagonist of the movie, would shoot in the region known for mountain ridges and isolated tribal habitats.

The Swabhiman Anchal was separated from mainland Odisha by the Balimela Reservoir built in the early 60s and had fallen off the development map for four decades. As Swabhiman Anchal was geographically nearer to Andhra Pradesh, Maoists made the area their base, making it impregnable for government officials.

Malkangiri became a major theatre of violence after 2008 an operation by the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments was launched.

Between 2008 and 2021, the district recorded 342 Maoist incidences with 101 civilians and 77 security personnel getting killed in the spiral of violence.

The Maoists suffered casualties too after the Greyhounds (police special forces unit) in October 2016 killed 30 Maoists, including several top commanders at Ramaguda village of Swabhiman Anchal.

On February 16, 2011, Maoists abducted R. Vineel Krishna, erstwhile collector of Malkangiri district, while he was on a visit to the area to oversee some development projects. They kept him hostage for nine days.

However, the senior changed after the Odisha government in July 2018 built a 910-metre-long bridge over river Gurupriya, one of the rivulets that feed into the mammoth Balimela reservoir, connecting mainland Malkangiri with the isolated villages.

The makers of Pushpa recently released the poster of the sequel along with a teaser video — ‘Where is Pushpa?’ — on the eve of Allu Arjun’s birthday.

Allu Arjun is seen dressed in a saree and wearing gold jewellery in the first-look poster of ‘Pushpa: The Rule’, the much-awaited sequel.

The movie is likely to be released in the Summer of 2024.

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