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FIR filed against Mani Ratnam’s Madras Talkies after horse dies during the shoot of Ponniyin Selvan

The incident took place at the sets of the epic period drama directed by Mani Ratnam

Akshay Krishna
Sep 13, 2021
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Mani Ratnam’s big project Ponniyin Selvan has been making news ever since its announcement. With a big budget and some big names in the movie, it has become a highly anticipated project. But now, the film has landed in trouble. An FIR has been filed against Mani Ratnam’s firm after a horse died on the sets of the movie.

An FIR was filed by the Telangana police following a complaint by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The animal welfare organisation received information from a whistleblower stating that a horse has died on the movie sets of Ponniyin Selvan due to a head-on collision. An FIR has been filed against the management of Madras Talkies and the owner of the horse. 

The owner of the horse is reported to have granted permission to use the animal for continuous shoots that worn out the animal. The horse died on August 11 and the FIR was filed on August 18.

From the sets of Ponniyin Selvan

The FIR is filed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act and IPC. Following the complaint from PETA, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) wrote to the Hyderabad Collector and the Telangana State Animal Welfare Board to conduct an inquiry into the death. The AWBI also asked the officials to ensure the culprits receive “exemplary punishment”, to avoid such incidents in the future. 

PETA India Chief Advocacy Officer Khushboo Gupta said in a statement, “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.” 

Ponniyin Selvan is based on an epic period novel of the same name, written by Kalki Krishnamurthy. The first part of the upcoming magnum opus is scheduled to have a theatrical release next year.

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