In yet another indication of mounting trouble for the Telugu film industry due to the growing regional divide in the state, a group of pro-Telangana activists attacked the shooting of a film featuring young actor Manoj, son of actor and producer Mohan Babu.
Workers of Telangana Rashtra Samiti attacked the film shooting unit at Pet Basheerabad in outskirts of Hyderabad and ransacked the cameras and other equipments. They shouted slogans in support of Telangana state and against Mohan Babu for his anti-Telangana stand.
The situation could be brought under control only after the police rushed to the scene and disperse the Telangana activists. The police also booked a case against both the sons of Mohan Babu- Manoj and Vishnu for allegedly attacking the media personnel who had gone there to cover the incident.
Apparently, the film unit became the target of TRS workers' ire after a series of statements by Mohan Babu, in which he opposed the demand for Telangana state and supported a united Andhra Pradesh. He also sat on day long fast at Tirupati in support of a united state.
Later addressing a press conference at his residence, Mohan Babu condemned the attack on film shooting unit and said that the Telugu film industry did not face such a situation even when it was based in Chennai.
"As much as TRS has the right to seek separate Telangana state, I also have the right to support united Andhra Pradesh. It is not a crime to say that every body should live together," he said.
Mohan Babu said that TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao should not forget the fact that his forefathers had come from Vijayanagaram in coastal Andhra region.
"If KCR seeks to separate Hyderabad from Andhra Pradesh, then every body will have to leave the city in favour of Muslims, as the city was founded by them," he said.
This is the first incident of attack on a Telugu film shooting in Hyderabad after the current crisis erupted over the issue of Telangana about a month ago.
Earlier, pro Telangana activists targeted the screening of films featuring the family members of Praja Rajyam president Chiranjeevi, after he changed his stand and started opposing Telangana state.
Urging K Chandrasekhara Rao not to indulge in provocation, Mohan Babu said, "Hyderabad belongs to Muslims. There are 33 percent Muslims in the city. If we have to leave this place, we will hand it over to Muslims and go."
"Hyderabad is not the property of any body's father to ask us to leave. It belongs to everybody," he said.
He recalled that the Telugu film industry had come to Hyderabad in early 80s on the invitation of the then Chief Minister Marri Channa Reddy, Mohan Babu said, and added that KCR did not have any right to ask Telugu film industry to leave the place.