Ramoji Film City accident: Sanjay Shah, CEO of Vistex Asia Pacific, falls to death

A case has been registered under Sections 336 and 287 of the IPC against Ramoji Film City management and other individuals.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Jan 19, 2024 | 7:16 PMUpdatedJan 19, 2024 | 9:35 PM

The deceased, Sanjay Shah, CEO of Vistex Asia Pacific Private Ltd, Hyderabad. (Supplied)

In an unfortunate incident at Ramoji Film City on Thursday evening, 18 January, Sanjay Shah (56), CEO of Vistex Asia Pacific Private Ltd, Hyderabad, tragically lost his life when he fell to his death. The incident took place during the company’s Silver Jubilee celebrations at Hyderabad’s largest film studio complex.

As part of the celebrations, the company’s CEO Sanjay Shah and the president, Raju Datla, were elevated about 40-50 ft above the stage in a partially closed platform, which was being slowly lowered as part of their introduction to the audience.

As the two men were being lowered on to the stage amidst loud cheering from the audience, the rope gave way, leading to both Shah and Datla falling from a height of approximately 20 feet onto the concrete stage.

Both individuals sustained critical injuries, and despite medical intervention, the CEO succumbed to his injuries during treatment.

Also Read: Margadarsi chit fund case: CID sends notices to Ramoji Rao, Sailaja Kiran to appear before it

The incident

Janakiram Raju Kalidindi, Vistex’s Executive Director, mentioned in a police complaint, that as part of the arrangements, they had entered into a contract with Ramoji Film City to oversee and manage the event scheduled for 18 and 19 January.

“When the event was kicked off at Lime Light Garden in Ramoji Film City at around 7:30 pm, event organisers set up an iron cage to be lifted aerially and introduced to the audience. During this exercise, the rope got cut off and both Sanjay Shah and Raju Datla (alias Vishwanath Raju Datla) fell off from approximately 20 feet height on to the concrete dais. As a result of this, both sustained critical injuries for which they were rushed to Maxi Cure Hospital, Hayathnagar, and then had to be shifted to Yashoda Hospital, Malakpet, for better treatment,” Kalidindi said, in the complaint.

He added, “They continued to be unconscious and in critical condition and it took close to 15-20 minutes for event organisers to arrange for an ambulance to transport the injured people to the hospital. Adequate ambulance facility was not provided by the event organisers, so they had to transport Raju Datla in our car.”

He emphasised the absence of adequate safety precautions by the event management team and attributed the incident to the sheer negligence of both the event organisers and Ramoji Film City management.

“The entire event was video recorded and original video footage was shared with the Inspector of Abdullapurmet Police Station. It clearly shows that this incident happened due to the rope snapping, resulting in the fall. Would like you to take stern action against Ramoji Film City (Usha Kiran Events) who were the event organisers,” Kalidindi said, in the complaint.

Also Read: Andhra Pradesh wants ED, I-T to probe alleged fraud by Ramoji Rao’s Margadarsi Chit Fund

Police action

Speaking to South First, an Abdullapurmet police official, said, “At the hospital, Sanjay Shah succumbed to his injuries. The postmortem has been performed and the body has been handed over to the family.”

Following the complaint, a case has been registered against Ramoji Film City Management (Usha Kiran Events), Rittik Chatterjee, Senior Event Manager at Ramoji Film City, G Uday Kiran, Chief Manager Safety Department, S Suresh Babu, Ramoji Film City contractor for special effects, S Durga Sateesh, Rope Operator, and others.

The FIR has been registered under Sections 336 (act rashly or negligently as to endanger human life), and 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery), read with Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Additionally, the police indicated their intention to add a section related to murder due to negligence and are in the process of apprehending the responsible individuals.

(South First reached out to Ramoji Film City management but there was no response. The copy will be updated if and when there is a response.)