Two youths have lodged a complaint with the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) blaming film star Mahesh Babu, who featured in a promotion campaign for a liquor brand, for their addiction to alcohol.

They told the SHRC that being ardent fans of Mahesh Babu, they closely followed all his public statements. It was no exception when the star, as the brand ambassador of a popular liquor brand, issued a statement that alcohol was not injurious to health.

The SHRC has called for a report from the Director General of Police and posted the matter for hearing on June 5. The duo — T. Satish Kumar, a social activist, and Banoth Amru Naik, a student leader — who hail from Nalgonda district, demanded action against the star and the liquor company for playing with the sentiments of innocent youth like them.

Flex boards and hoardings across the State identifying Mahesh Babu with the brand should be removed, they added.Mr. Satish Kumar claimed he was spending Rs. 1,000 daily on liquor ever since he saw the advertisement. An unemployed postgraduate, he said his health has been on the wane, due to which he has been unable to take competitive exams. Mr. Naik said his wife had deserted him.