Tovino Thomas slams 'religious fanatics' for destroying church set of Minnal Murali

Tovino Thomas slams 'religious fanatics' for destroying church set of Minnal Murali
The members of Antharashtra Hindu Parishad (AHP) and Bajrang Dal demolished the set of Minnal Murali on Sunday. (Photo: Sophia Paul/Facebook)

A day after members of a right-wing group destroyed the film set of Malayalam movie Minnal Murali, actor Tovino Thomas on Monday expressed shock about the incident. Taking to his Facebook page, Thomas said that the reasons that were given by the perpetrators to destroy the church set eluded him.

“Minnal Murali’s first schedule at Wayanad had been in progress when the set for the second schedule began construction at Kalady. It was carried out by art director Manu Jagad and team, under special instructions by stunt choreographer Vlad Rimburg. For this, we had the proper permissions from the concerned authorities. And as we were about to start shooting in this set – which was built on a considerable cost, the whole country went into lockdown, following which our shoot was paused, just like all others (sic),” he wrote on his Facebook page.

The actor added, “It is during this prevailing uncertainty that this contractual set was destroyed by a group of racialists yesterday. The reasons they cite for this unceremonious act are not understood to our senses till now. We’ve heard of movie sets being vandalised by religious fanatics in Northern parts of India. Now, it’s happening to us right here.”

The members of Antharashtra Hindu Parishad (AHP) and Bajrang Dal on Sunday demolished the set, and proudly claimed responsibility for the vandalism in a social media post. The reason cited by the right-wing group is the location of Minnal Murali’s church set, which is close to Adi Sankaracharya mutt in Kalady near Ernakulam.

AHP’s General Secretary Hari Palode shared on his Facebook account the pictures of right-wing members destroying the film set. He said that “We don’t have the habit of pleading. We decided to demolish it. Our self-respect must be protected at all cost.”

Minnal Murali director Basil Joseph and producers have already filed a complaint with the police. However, no arrests have been made so far, said TV reports.

Basil said some destroyed the dream of the filmmakers for mere publicity.

Producer Sophia Paul termed the vandalism as an “unfortunate incident” and a “colossal loss.” “The set at kaaladi was planned and built for one of our most important scene. All required permissions to build the set at the location was taken,” she said in her Facebook post.

Bankrolled by Sophia under Weekend Blockbuster banner, Minnal Murali is a superhero movie set in a rural backdrop.

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