The producer and director of Kannada film Maastigudi have been accused of complicity in the death of two stunt artists on the sets last year, The Times of India reported on Friday. Anil Kumar, 37, and Uday, 31, had drowned in the Tippagondanahalli Reservoir on November 7, 2016, after jumping from a helicopter from a height of 60 feet during a stunt.
The Magadi Police from Ramanagara district filed a chargesheet before the judicial municipal court and named producer Sundar P Gowda, director Nagashekhar, assistant director Siddarth, stunt director Ravi Varma, unit manager Bharat and chopper pilot Prakash Biradar as the accused. They have all been charged under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Actor Duniya Vijay was one of the witnesses in the case.
“Shooting for the climax involved many life risks and despite knowing the risks the actors were exposed to, the director, producer, stunt director and other accused acted in a negligent manner and became the reason for the tragedy. The victims had no life jackets, nor were there any lifeguards, boats or other safety gear around. No precautionary measure was taken,” the chargesheet said.
Anil and Uday had drowned after a motorboat meant to pick up the actors from the water did not start because of technical issues. The two were reportedly seen flailing in the water and struggling to save themselves. It is feared that they got stuck in parts of the water that were heavy with silt, which is usually made off-limits to the public. They had also reportedly expressed their reservations about swimming before filming began.