The photographer who shot the pre-wedding shoot inside the iconic Amba Vilas Palace has stated that he was not aware of the fact that shooting pictures inside the palace was prohibited and he did not see any sign board prohibiting photography.
In his statement to the police team that is investigating the incident, M Venkataramana, alias Venky, a resident of Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad has said that the photographs were taken to showcase his art and not for any commercial purposes.
Venkataramana owns Photriya Photography and is at the centre of the controversy. He shot the pictures of Adithya and Navyatha. While Adithya is a son of former bureaucrat B G Nandakumar and Navyatha is a daughter of an IPS officer from Andhra Pradesh.
Though Venkataramana’s statement said that he was allowed to take the pictures by the Palace security, he has not named any official who gave them permission for the photo shoot. He has stated that he specialised in wedding photography and usually travels all over the country.
Apart from obtaining a written statement from Venkataramana the police team headed by Deputy Commissioner Dr H T Shekar summoned Venkataramana to the city and interrogated him at the City Police Commissioner’s office for about four hours.
In his written statement, Venkataramana has stated that he and Adithya were good friends and the latter had requested him to shoot his photos along with his fiancée. “There was an opportunity for me to visit the Mysore Palace along with the couple and since I was carrying a camera I thought it fit to take certain photographs of the couple. In the process, a couple of photos were taken outside the palace,” he has stated.
“Casually we requested the palace security near the entrance of the palace to go inside. They permitted us to go and told us to come back immediately.”
We went inside and after seeing the beauty I was tempted to take pictures of Adithya and his would-be wife in different angles and within 10 minutes we came back,” he has written in his statement.
“I am in the habit of posting good pictures in my Facebook. The photographs which were taken as stated above were impressive and I have added graphics and photo shoot techniques to enhance the quality of the pictures. Therefore in the usual course, the same were posted and I got good response for the same and I was happy,” he explains.
“The entire episode of taking pictures was in the usual course. I was not aware of the rules and regulations. It was only a chance photography. At the entrance, there was no occasion for me to see any notice board prohibiting me to take photographs. If I were to know about the same I would not have entered inside the palace. I am innocent and even Adithya and his would-be wife were not aware of the consequences.”
The statement ends with a sort of an apology that he was willing to pay a fine for the lapse and that he would not be repeat the same in the future.
It may be mentioned here that the palace is guarded by a 70-strong police force headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police. The police are yet to record the statements of Adithya and Navyatha.