A day after they went missing in a suspected case of drowning during the filming of an action sequence for Kannada film Mastigudi, a search operation continued for Kannada actors Raghava Uday Kumar, 30, and Anil Kumar, 32 .
The two are feared to have drowned in Thippagondanahalli reservoir, around 35 km from Bengaluru. Divers from fire and emergency department and the National and State Disaster Response Forces are involved.
Ramanagara district’s Superintendent of Police, Dr Chandragupta, said Tavarekere police, who have jurisdiction over the area where the accident occurred, have registered a case against the film’s producer, director and stunt director. “The incident does not look like one of just negligence but intentional negligence,” the SP said. “We have taken up a case under IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).”
Uday Kumar, who came from a slum in south Bengaluru, was an autorickshaw driver before he began playing bit roles as henchman to screen villains in Kannada films. A college dropout, Uday joined films accidentally sets after a neighbour, Basavaraj, who was involved in stunts and action, saw potential and convinced Uday’s father K Venkatesh, who works as a carpenter, to let him train to be a stuntman.
He had reportedly acted in more than 50 films.
On Tuesday, Venkatesh said, “My son is no more because of negligence of his stunt director Ravi Verma.” He alleged that Uday was “forced” to perform the stunt — of dropping down from a helicopter, along with Anil Kumar, who was also playing a negative character, and the lead actor Duniya Vijay — despite being unwell, and despite having alerted that he could
Anil Kumar, a childhood friend of Duniya Vijay, came from a middle-class colony in south Bengaluru and is reported to have invested some money in Mastigudi’s production. A father of two, Anil was the son of daily wage earners. He worked for a while as a gym trainer before he started his own small gymnasium, where Duniya Vijay was one of the regulars.