Mani Ratnam's film company served notice

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Kochi: 

Ace director Mani Ratnam's film production company Madras Talkies has been issued a show cause notice by the Animal Welfare Board for not taking permission to use elephants in his film Ravan starring Abishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

One of the two elephants brought for the shoot had turned amok on Wednesday, killing its mahout. Police said there was no shooting on Thursday and the unit had informed them that they were shifting to Udhagamandalam.

The film was being shot with the lead pair in the forests near Athirampally waterfalls in Thrissur district when the mahout was trampled to death by the elephant after the shoot was over. Aishwarya, Abhishekh and Mani Ratnam were at the shooting site when the incident took place.

Board secretary D Rajasekar said from Chennai that no permission had been obtained by Mani Ratnam, producer and director of the bilingual film Ravaan, for using elephants.

The Board has asked the company to submit its reply in seven days and the Chief Wildlife Warden to give a report about the incident.

Rajasekar said a No-objection certificate has to be obtained from the Board for shooting films, TV serials and commercials in which animals are used.

The elephant, which stood in the middle of the road blocking the way of the star pair, who were staying at Athirampally Rain forest resort, was brought under control late Wednesday night and taken away from the spot at 2 am on Thursday, police said.

Abhishek and Aishwarya had to take a different route to their hotel.

Last year, the shooting of the film was stopped for a few days after the Kerala forest department found that Mani Ratnam had violated an agreement and constructed temporary huts in prohibited forest areas.

Meanwhile, the Elephant Lovers Association also protested against the use of animals in film shooting.

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