Hyderabad: It's straight out of a potboiler. Sex, drugs and celebrity. Only this is for real and the Telugu film industry is upset at how the entire fraternity is being painted as a haven of drug abuse by the Hyderabad police. (Read: Drugs, lies and videotape in Hyderabad)
Two small-time actresses have been arrested today for being allegedly involved in a prostitution racket and the police claim they have concrete information on drug abuse and other illegal activities taking place in the city's pubs. (Read: Telugu film actors among nine held for prostitution)
The arrest of a Nigerian man, China Clement, allegedly a drug peddler, along with the brothers of actor Ravi Teja, has the Hyderabad police now saying that there is a dark underbelly of drug abuse and sex thriving beneath the glamorous veneer of the Telugu film industry.
But the industry argues that African men like China Clement, many of whom are to be found in Hyderabad, are brought in to play the bad guys to be bashed by Telugu heroes in films. They ask how can the industry be held responsible if these foreign nationals indulge in illegal activities?
"Industry cannot be blamed. Not as an industry. If there are individuals who have done it then yes, they need to be punished," said producer D Suresh Babu.
Police said investigations had led them on the trail of several high-profile stars and producers.
RR Girish Kumar, Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh said, "We have been keeping a watch on this for quite some time now. We have information that in Hyderabad's pubs, they are supplying drugs."