The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Producer files tit-for-tat case

Hyderabad, July 24: Telugu star-turned-producer Mohan Babu has slammed Shilpa Shivanand for making his life miserable and harassing him on the sets of Vishnu.

On Tuesday, actress Shilpa was dragged by her hair by Mohan Babu and slapped after she allegedly bungled a kissing scene with his debutant son. Shilpa’s mother Parveen Sultana also received a few blows when she tried to intervene.

Mohan Babu locked up Shilpa and her mother in the guesthouse of Annapurna Studios after the bash-up. He freed them late in the evening after Shilpa gave him in writing that she would turn up for the July 27 shoot.

The actress’ sister, well known Telugu star Sakshi, flew down from Mumbai that evening and filed a case against Mohan Babu, a former Rajya Sabha MP, at Jubilee Hills police station.

But yesterday, the producer himself filed a case at the same police station, accusing Shilpa of non-cooperation and demanding more money after having received a Rs 500,000 payment for working in the film.

Mohan Babu is a cousin of Andhra Pradesh chief minister . Chandrababu Naidu. The two, who were not on good terms earlier, patched up after the death of Telugu Desam patriarch .T. Rama Rao.

Addressing a news conference, the former Desam MP said the actress was throwing tantrums during the final shooting. He said a Rs 2,100, 000 song set had been constructed on three studio floors but would now have to be demolished as Shilpa said she was not in a mood to shoot. Not a single shot was canned, Mohan Babu said.

Vishnu director Shaji Kailas said the actress did not wish to appear with him and Mohan Babu in publicity photographs. He said she had failed to get the kissing scene right for nearly three hours and this led to “a clash” with the short-tempered producer.

Police, who have not yet been allowed by the chief minister’s office to proceed with the case, are keeping their fingers crossed. At the same time, Sakshi has been calling up from Mumbai and putting pressure on them through media and political circles to begin investigations.

Naidu and Mohan Babu hail from the same village of Naravaripalli. The cousins have recently made up and the chief minister is keen to ensure that the director does not join hands with his (Naidu’s) estranged younger brother, Ramamurthy. The chief minister fears this could destabilise him in district politics.

Neither police nor local Desam leaders want to do anything to disrupt relations between the recently reconciled cousins.

During his Rajya Sabha term, Mohan Babdu had set up a residential educational institution near Naravaripalli village.

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