Animal rights campaigner, Heritage Animal Task Force, has demanded action against producer and director of the multilingual movie Baahubali 2 for allegedly illegally using an elephant for shoot, without taking prior permission from the Animal Welfare Board of India. The outfit alleged that the film crew had violated norms and used the jumbo, Chirackal Kalidasan, for the shoot at Thrissur recently, without obtaining any pre-shoot certificate from AWBI as per the Performing Animals Registration Rule 2001.
The Thrissur-based Task Force sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently demanding action against the producer, director and camera man of the film and the owner and mahout of the elephant in this regard. Task Force Secretary V.K. Venkatachalam said the film crew claimed that they had used the elephant for shooting for the purpose of graphic representation of showing the movement of the animal for their proposed movie. “For the whole period of the four hours of the shooting, this elephant was forced to stand amid the high beam electric light for maximum colour effect during the shoot,” he said in the letter.
The mahout, during the shooting, had used the banned weapon ‘ankush’ to compel the elephant to obey his commands and keep its forehead up for a long period of time, he said in the letter, which was released to media. There was no animal welfare officer at the venue of the film shooting, the activist said, adding, more than 50 persons of the film team were making sounds causing high disturbances to the elephant throughout the shooting. “We request the PMO to issue orders to the police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest the producer, director and cameraman of the film and the owner of the elephant and its mahout for their illegal use of the jumbo for film shooting,” he said. He said compelling the elephant to keep its forehead up is a violation of the PCA Act 1960.