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Chiranjeevi's brother arrested
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | April 22, 2003 17:42 IST
The Hyderabad city police arrested three popular Telugu actors and six of their fans for staging a dharna in front of the Deccan Chronicle office today.
The actors were protesting against certain reports carried by the English daily and its sister Telugu publication, Andhra Bhoomi, over the last few days.
The actors arrested by the Gopalpuram police included Pawan Kalyan, Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi's younger brother, Allu Aravind, Chiranjeevi's brother-in-law, and Nagababu. They were later released on bail.
The group came to the Deccan Chronicle office in Secunderabad at about 1145 IST and tried to barge into the premises. But the security guards closed the gates, so they squatted in front of the office for almost two hours, obstructing traffic on the busy Sarojini Devi Road.
Accusing the newspapers of carrying 'scurrilous reports' maligning him and his brother Chiranjeevi, Kalyan said his fans wanted a public explanation and apology from the newspapers.
Kalyan had reportedly slapped Andhra Bhoomi reporter Mohammed Abdul and roughed up lensman K Durga Rao when the duo went to cover the engagement ceremony of Chiranjeevi's daughter Sushmita with actor Uday Kiran on April 18.
Subsequently, the newspapers carried reports pointing out that Kalyan had allegedly roughed up former Telugu Desam minister Paritala Ravi and some Telugu film personalities.
Soon after, the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce, Telugu Film Producers Council, Movie Artistes Association and AP Film Industry Employees Association issued a two-page statement accusing the newspapers of interfering in Chiranjeevi's family matters and publishing stories 'in a blackmailing tone'.
Chiranjeevi, the statement added, had not invited any journalists to his daughter's engagement and the Andhra Bhoomi photographer had 'scaled the wall' despite warnings by the security staff.
Two of Kalyan's fans, Sivaji and Reddy, lodged a complaint against the Andhra Bhoomi journalists for allegedly trespassing in Chiranjeevi's residence. They were charged under sections 452 (trespassing with criminal intention), 323 (assault) and 427 (deceit) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists, Journalists Association of AP, AP Crime Reporters Association and AP Press Photographers Association condemned the attack on the scribes and demanded action against the actor.
The associations also submitted a memorandum regarding the incident to Director General of Police Pervaram Ramulu.