The photographer was taking photos while the chopper flew at a dangerously low altitude which caused panic among sadhus and devotees who had turned out in large numbers at the Sangam for a holy dip on 'Mauni Amavasya', Senior Superintendent of Police, (Kumbh Mela), R K S Rathore told PTI.
"We have registered an FIR on the basis of a formal complaint received from Kumbh Mela Officer Mani Prasad Mishra," Rathore said.
Although unconfirmed reports said that the lensman was a French national, Rathore said, "The person has not yet been identified and hence it would not be proper to say anything about his nationality. "Though, as per the reports that we have received, he looked like a foreigner," the SSP said. He said the helicopter, which was sent back following a warning issued by the Air Force authorities here who were alerted by the Kumbh Mela Officer, "was apparently hired by the lensman at Varanasi".
"The entire matter is currently under investigation. We will take a close look at whatever illegalities may have been committed by the photographer as well as the company owning the helicopter. Due action will follow," he said.
Significantly, the Kumbh Mela authorities had issued an advisory prior to the commencement of the congregation on January 14 whereby people had been restrained from taking pictures of nude ascetics from a distance of less than 200 metres in keeping with a Supreme Court order.