Indias most popular Indian film, Mani, has been abducted by an armed group and the movie is in danger of being banned in the country.
The movie was shot in the eastern state of Maharashtra, and the kidnappers demanded that the entire production crew pay ransom.
A police investigation has revealed that Mani was abducted from a movie house in the city of Kota in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in front of a group of close to 300 friends.
The group, led by an individual who went by the name of “Kanji”, wanted to get the movie made in India.
The man said that the kidnapping happened in early February.
They wanted to make Mani into a film about a young boy and his family who have gone through an accident, and they wanted to film it in the film house, Kanji told The Associated Press.
He said the kidnapper demanded that all the crew members pay a ransom of Rs 15,000.
“They were threatening to kidnap my friend, Kanjira, and also threaten to make me an actor in the movie,” he said.
Mani was a film that the Kota film production team worked on for about a year and a half, Kanja said.
“We all felt so insecure and scared.
It was really hard for us to work on it.
We could not even see the finished product.
I had a bad feeling.
But I knew that we had to work it out,” Kanji said.
When the kidnapping began, the film’s production team had to leave for a week to cover the kidnapping, Kanika said.
The team was not allowed to leave the city, Kanaji said.
The movie’s director, Amitabh Chandra, and his colleagues had to stay behind to cover it, Kanai said.
“We were afraid that the kidnaper would kill Kanji and my co-star,” Kanjiro said.
After the kidnapping took place, the production team was given two days to get back to Kota.
“It was very hard to go back because the whole village was under attack.
When they got back to the city they saw all the buildings completely destroyed,” Kanai recalled.
“The kidnapper was wearing a mask and we had no way of knowing what he was wearing.”
In February, the Kalinga village in Mumbai, where the production company was working, was completely destroyed by the attack, said Kanjiraj.
The production team’s vehicles were attacked, Kanjunapuri said.
Kanji was one of the crewmembers that was injured and was sent to the Mumbai Medical College Hospital for treatment.
They were not able to find the kidnapers at the hospital and have been unable to contact him since then, Kanju said.
An anonymous phone call made to the production department on Sunday, on which Kanji had written his letter of support, was not returned.
A phone call to the company on Sunday was also not returned, the producer told The Hindu newspaper.
The Kalingam Police said it was not possible to contact Kanji.
“I know this is very difficult for the family and I will continue to work for the release of Manjira,” Kanjit said.
He was asked to remain anonymous.