Offices of Jagannath, Dil Raju attacked by ‘T’ protesters

The screening of Pawan Kalyan starrer ‘Cameraman Ganga tho Rambabu’ was stopped in many theatres across Telangana on the second day of its release on Friday following protests by Telangana supporters against objectionable scenes which they claimed hurt their sentiments.

The protests took a violent turn when Telangana Rashtra Samiti activists vandalised the offices of the film director Puri Jagannath and producer/distributor Dil Raju at Jubilee Hills and Srinagar Colony respectively here. They smashed the windscreens of four cars parked on Mr. Jagannath’s office premises, besides damaging furniture at both their offices.

Mr. Jagannath and Mr. Raju promised to delete the scenes if they were indeed objectionable, but appealed to the agitators to stop violence. Mr. Jagannath arranged a special screening for leaders of TRS and Telangana joint action committee to vouch for the content.

The dialogues of the film’s hero Pawan Kalyan and villain Prakash Raj was the cause of trouble. The particular scene depicted the villain throwing a challenge that only sons of the soil would be allowed to do business in Andhra Pradesh and those from other States would be driven away.

This argument was rebuffed by the hero asking how was it that the former’s father could do business in New Delhi while the son pursued higher studies in the US.

Interpreting the scene as a direct reference to leaders in the forefront of Telangana movement, the agitators thronged theatres screening the film since morning on Friday.

Aradhana theatre at Tarnaka which is close to Osmania University campus was the first to be attacked by the students. The crowd brought the prints to the campus and burnt them in front of the Arts College building.

The agitators staged demonstrations at Sriramana and Sandhya talkies at Amberpet and RTC crossroads respectively. The shows were also suspended at halls in Medchal, Nacharam, Madhapur, Balanagar, L.B. Nagar, Karmanghat, Gaddiannaram, Dilsukhnagar and Kothapet.

Mancherial MLA G. Arvind Reddy led a crowd to close down a theatre in that town. The film was not shown in 12 out of 21 theatres where it was released across Karimnagar district. A theatre at Paloncha in Khammam district was also attacked.

The Telangana Film Chamber convened an emergency meeting of its executive and demanded the film producer to compensate the talkies’ owners for the loss suffered on account of non-screening. Chamber president M. Vijayender Reddy said the compensation was paid when ‘Saleem’, ‘Arya Two’ and ‘Adurs’ were not screened under similar circumstances.

The TRS reacted to the developments saying it will not tolerate insult to Telangana movement in the name of a film.