Dad reveals height of despair with cell tower protest

Dad reveals height of despair with cell tower protest


Tabrez Khan, whose wife and daughter died during the shooting of ‘Ranam’, climbed a mobile phone tower along with three relatives on Sunday, protesting against the police failure to arrest the crew of the Kannada film. 

Sumera Banu, 28, and her five-year-old daughter Ayera Khan were killed while elder daughter Zainab Khan, 8, was injured after a metallic cylinder exploded and hit them near the Bengaluru Aerospace Park SEZ at Bagalur, Northeast Bengaluru, around 4 pm on Friday. The family was on its way to Sulibele but had stepped out of the car to watch the shooting which had blocked the road. 

On Sunday afternoon, Tabrez, relatives, friends and local residents staged a two-hour-long protest near the Bagalur police station, demanding the immediate arrest of those responsible for the deaths. Police have named the film’s director Samudra V, producer Srinivas R, production manager Kiran, stunt manager Vijayan, along with technicians, in the FIR. 

Vowing to protest until the suspects are arrested, Tabrez and some of his relatives climbed up the mobile phone tower and raised slogans. A senior police officer rushed to the spot and unsuccessfully tried to pacify them. Some more senior police officers then arrived and promised that the suspects would be arrested at the earliest. 

The family called off the protest but Tabrez said he would wait no more than two days. 

He said the film crew “literally killed my wife and daughter”.

“They fled from the spot soon after the incident and did not even help us take my injured daughter to a hospital. It was villagers from Mahadeva Kodigehalli who came to our rescue,” he told DH. “Why are the police not taking any action even after three days?” 

Munawwar Khan, the brother-in-law of Sumera, said no member of the film crew or the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) had come to see the distraught family. “We lost two innocent lives due to the negligence of the film crew,” he said. 

The family has brought Zainab back to Bengaluru after conducting the final rites in Kolar. The girl has been admitted to a hospital. 

Tabrez and his family are set to meet KFCC president S A Chinne Gowda around 11 on Monday. The film body has come under criticism for doing little to make film shootings safe for actors as well as the general public.