In November 2016, actors Uday and Anil drowned after performing a stunt where they jumped off a helicopter without safety gear.

Maasti Gudi tragedy FIR registered against Duniya Vijay for helping accused escape
news Crime Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 15:27

Over one-and-a-half years after the Maasti Gudi tragedy led to the deaths of Sandalwood actors Uday and Anil, actor Duniya Vijay has been booked for obstructing the police from arresting the accused — the film’s producer P Sundar Gowda.

Although no arrest has been made in relation to the incident which led to the deaths of the actors, the Channammanakere Achukattu Police in Bengaluru has registered an FIR.

FIR against Duniya Vijay

On Wednesday, the court of the Ramanagara judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) had issued a warrant to arrest P Sundar Gowda, the film’s producer. The Tavarekere Police, equipped with the warrant, arrived at P Sundar Gowda’s home located within the limits of the Channammanakere Achukattu Police Station late at night.

“When the Tavarekere Police arrived at Sundar Gowda’s house, Duniya Vijay and the accused were discussing the plan of action. Sundar Gowda told the officers that he would go in and put on different clothes. Within minutes, he had escaped from the house,” the police said.

Channammanakere Achukattu Police Inspector Sharanappa told TNM that Duniya Vijay had helped Sundar Gowda escape from his residence and avoid arrest.

“He told the Tavarekere Police that Sundar Gowda’s mother’s health condition was deteriorating and that he would personally hand over Sundar Gowda to the police in a day’s time. According to the Tavarekere Police, Duniya Vijay assaulted one of the police officers on duty. The Tavarekere Police had, by then, figured out that Duniya Vijay was the one who helped Sundar Gowda escape,” Inspector Sharanappa said.

At around 3.00 am on Thursday, the Tavarekere Police filed a complaint with the Channammanakere Achukattu Police against Duniya Vijay.

An FIR was registered under IPC sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty) and 225 (resistance or obstruction of lawful apprehension of a person).

Inspector Sharanappa said that Duniya Vijay is also absconding, and that the police are looking for him as well.

The Maasti Gudi tragedy

In November 2016, the film crew of Maasti Gudi had gone to the Thippagondanahalli Reservoir to shoot the climax of the film.

The stunt, which was being performed featured three actors —  Duniya Vijay, Uday and Anil — jumping off a helicopter from a height of 100ft.

In videos that have surfaced since the incident, Vijay is seen wearing safety gear while the other two actors don't have any harness.

Minutes before the stunt was attempted, Anil and Uday had told a news channel covering the shooting that they did not know swimming.

After jumping into the water, the actors began to struggle. While Vijay, who was wearing protective gear, managed to reach a coracle and get rescued, the other two actors drowned.

Following the incident, there was public outcry regarding the lack of safety measures and proper procedures for shooting dangerous stunts. Many also condemned the film unit for its callousness towards the safety and well-being of junior artists.

According to sources, the chargesheet, filed earlier, lists 78 names as accused. This includes director Naga Shekhar, producer Sundar P Gowda, stunt director Ravi Varma, assistant director Siddharth, unit manager Bharath and the helicopter pilot Prakash Biradar. Interestingly, actor Vijay’s name has been not been listed among the accused. He is the prime witness.



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