The Hyderabad police on Saturday arrested five persons, who are reportedly fans of actor-politician Pawan Kalyan for allegedly vandalizing the broadcast van of a Telugu news channel in Hyderabad.
The arrested persons were part of the mob, who damaged the OB van of Telugu news channel ABN Andhrajyothi on Friday, said the Banjara Hills police.
Two days ago, the actor who is the president of Jana Sena Party, in a series of tweets alleged that a few TV channels including ABN had been carrying out a malicious campaign against him at the behest of the ruling Telugu Desam Party.
Protesting against this alleged political campaign to bring him down, the actor had protested at the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce on Friday, and also held deliberations with the members of Movie Artists’ Association (MAA)- a body of Telugu film actors. To cover this protest, ABN channel had stationed its broadcasting van outside the Film Chamber in Film Nagar. Noticing this, the agitated mob ran amok and allegedly pelted stones damaging the vehicles windshield, bonnet and window.
The arrested persons were identified as Bhanu Prasad, Sai Kiran, Harikrishna, Ambati Gopi and Ramakrishna—all aged between 21-32.
They were arrested under section 147 (punishment for rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 427 (mischief causing damage), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 149 (unlawful assembly).
The arrested persons were remanded to judicial custody.
During the protest, fans who had gathered at the Film Chamber raised slogans against—TV9, ABN and TV9. A few masked fans also attacked a couple of journalists, who were covering the news.
Protesting the attack on journalists, the Telangana Union of Working Journalists (TUWJ) on Saturday took out a rally from the Hyderabad press club in Somajiguda. Similar protests were carried out by journalists at Benz circle in Vijayawada.
TUWJ also condemned the actions of the actor and his fans against media channels.
The Union through a press release clarified that the media channels didn’t air any programmes related to the allegations of sexual exploitation in Tollywood based on its own reports but carried out stories following the allegations of Sri Reddy.
TUWJ also slammed Pawan Kalyan’s allegations that he made on Twitter particularly against the three channels, which led to an attack on the journalists belonging to those channels.
The Union warned the actor-politician of further protests if he continued to instigate his fans against the media houses.