Two popular actors in Kannada films are feared drowned in the Thippagondanahalli reservoir, located nearly 35 km from Bengaluru. Anil Kumar (34) and Uday Kumar (35) had been dropped into the reservoir by a helicopter on Monday for filming of an action sequence with renowned actor Duniya Vijay for upcoming film Masti Gudi.
Anil and Uday, who were cast in negative roles in the film, were dropped in the reservoir with Vijay around 2.30 pm on Monday.
The action sequence, it is learnt, was part of the film’s climax. Soon after being dropped in the reservoir, the actors started struggling and thrashing around in the water. A rescue boat that had set out to save the trio managed to bring only Vijay back.
Soon after being informed about the incident, local police reached the spot with a team from the state fire department and launched a search, but the two actors could not be located.
SP, Ramanagara district, D Chandragupta has directed police to file a case of negligence against the film’s producer Suresh Gowda, director Nagashekhar and other persons concerned after bodies of the two actors are found.
Police said the cinema crew did not take necessary safety measures when the actors were dropped into the reservoir. According to police, Anil told the media before boarding the helicopter that he could not swim, but would go to any length for a good shot.
Producer Suresh Gowda said the incident was unfortunate. “It is too early to comment on the incident as the bodies of the actors are yet to be found. Nobody wants to play with the lives of people,” he said.
KPS Combines, the production house behind the film, initially obtained permission from Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board to shoot the reservoir scene on October 24, but later rescheduled it to November 7. The board had stated in its permit that aerial shots of the reservoir were not permitted. The crew allegedly violated the conditions and shot scenes from the helicopter.
The Thippagondanahalli reservoir collects water from Arkavathi river and supplies it to parts of north Bengaluru.
The president of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce Sa Ra Govindu visited the reservoir after the incident and claimed that there was no negligence on the part of the crew. He also said that he would talk further about the incident only after the bodies are recovered.
Senior Kannada actor and BJP politician Jaggesh blamed the film’s stunt master Ravi Varma for the incident. “Ravi Varma — you came from a poor family but you measured the depth of the water by pushing poor guys into it,” he tweeted in Kannada.