Ace Tamil director Mani Ratnam has been shooting for his ambitious upcoming film, Ponniyin Selvan, over the past few months across various parts of India and is a joint production venture of the filmmaker's Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions banners. An epic historical action-drama based on reputed Tamil writer Kalki Krishnamurthy's acclaimed novels of the same name, Ponniyin Selvan is being made on a massive budget and the makers have used many horses during the shooting. That said, a horse is reported to have died during a head-on collision at the film’s shoot, with PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) India now filing a complaint against Mani Ratnam's Madras Talkies and the owner of the deceased animal.
According to latest reports, an FIR has been lodged against Mani Ratnam by the Abdullapurmet Police and the Animal Welfare Board have also since called in the filmmaker for an inquiry. The incident is said to have happened during the shooting of Ponniyin Selvan at Hyderabad, with PETA India stepping in to file a complaint. Soon after, the Abdullapurmet police registered an FIR under Section 11 of the PCA Act, 1960, and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. PETA India's Chief Advocacy Officer Khushboo Gupta released a statement and said, "In the age of computer-generated imagery (CGI), production companies have no excuse for forcing exhausted horses to play at war until one of them drops dead." Reports state the owners of the horse gave permission to the Ponniyin Selvan team to use the animal when it was already exhausted and in a dehydrated state. Animal Welfare Board of India has since asked the District Collector of Hyderabad and the Telangana State Animal Welfare Board to launch a probe into the death of the horse.
Announced to come out in two parts, Ponniyin Selvan, currently being shot in Madhya Pradesh, has a power-packed star cast featuring names like 'Chiyaan' Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Trisha, Prakash Raj, Rahman, Aadukalam Kishore, Jayaram, Mohan Raman, Vinodhini Vaidyanathan, Babu Antony among several others, with music by Academy Award-winning composer A. R. Rahman.
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