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Aamir KhanGujarat government issues notice to Aamir Khan
09th Aug 2006  09.01 IST
By Agencies  


Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan has been issued a show-cause notice by authorities in Gujarat.

Aamir has been issued the notice for allegedly violating the Wildlife Protection Act by filming endangered chinkaras during the making of his blockbuster Lagaan eight years ago.




The state's forest department on Monday sent notices to all members of the film's production team, including Aamir, for allegedly violating the act by filming the antelopes in Kutch district without permission.

The department has given Aamir a week's time to reply to the notice, which was issued after a wildlife activist recently filed a complaint against the actor.

The forest department, in the notice, asked Aamir to explain why his team had not taken mandatory permission from it before filming the chinkaras, also known as Indian gazelles.

It also sought details of the activities the production team had engaged in within the protected area during the shoot.

"A preliminary probe has revealed the film's producers did not take permission from the forest department to film the chinkaras," a forest official said.

The official said though no animal was known to have been harmed during the filming, the producers and some officials had broken the rules. The footage of the animals was used for commercial purpose, he said.

"If the filming was done in connection with a documentary or wildlife film, then it would not have mattered. But since the film and the footage of the chinkara was made and used for commercial purposes, it is illegal," the official said.

During the preliminary probe, a forest beat guard who had taken the production team to film the chinkaras had said he only led them the spot and that he was not aware how and what they filmed.

'Lagaan' was produced by Aamir himself and directed by his close friend Ashutosh Gowarikar .

The film, shot at Jam Kunaria village, about 375 km from Ahmedabad in semi-arid environs of Kutch district, was released on June one, 2001. It was nominated in the best foreign language film category at the Academy Awards.

According to forest department officials, Aamir's former wife Reena, who was the executive producer, and his second wife Kiran Rao, who was the assistant director, were present in Kutch during the shoot.

The notices from the forest department came a couple of months after Aamir extended support to people displaced by the Narmada dam project and called for their rehabilitation.

The public outcry in Gujarat against his statements prompted owners of theatres and multiplexes not to screen his latest film Fanaa .

Aamir is the second Bollywood actor after Salman Khan to be accused of violating the Wildlife Protection Act in Gujarat.

The Gujarat CID in June decided to reopen a case against Salman for allegedly killing a chinkara in Kutch in 1998 during the shooting of his movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam .

Bollywood producers Karan Johar and Feroz Khan have had similar cases filed against them under the Wildlife Act in other states.

Related
Aamir Khan
Lagaan
Ashutosh Gowarikar
Fanaa
Salman Khan
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Karan Johar
Feroz Khan





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