Staff Reporter

KOCHI: George Joseph, general manager, Riyan Studio, has alleged that the raids conducted on Riyan Studio premises here recently were to help new studios opened by leading actors in Malayalam filmdom.

The raids were conducted on the studio premises following the reported confessions made by those arrested in a major anti-piracy raid in Thiruvananthapuram. However, the raids ran into a controversy with Director-General of Police Raman Srivastava relieving Inspector-General of Police Rishi Raj Singh of the post of nodal officer of the anti-piracy cell. Mr. Rishi Raj Singh has been reinstated on the intervention of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan.

Mr. Rishi Raj Singh did not come to the studio. Only a couple of representatives of the Indian Musical Industry with some police personnel reached the studio on December 7 for searching the CD replication factory of Riyan. They were not allowed since they had no authority to conduct searches, Mr. Joseph said.

He countered the allegation that pirated CDs were removed from the studio before the raids were resumed the next day. It was not possible to remove that many CDs from a densely populated area, he said.

He condemned the decision of the Film Chamber of Commerce to boycott Riyan Studio. ``We attended the meeting and were not given a chance to explain our side,'' Mr. Joseph said.