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Protest against TV serial dubbing: 5 Telugu artists arrested

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Hyderabad: Five Telugu television artistes here were arrested on Saturday, following an attack on the office of a Telugu TV channel and studios. The attack was launched to protest the airing of serials dubbed from other languages.

The protesting artistes were arrested at Saradhi Studio, where they had gathered to prevent the shooting of a dubbing serial by Maa TV, a popular entertainment channel, whose office was attacked by the artistes on Friday. Shooting of a game show at Rama Naidu studio was also disrupted by the protesting artistes Friday night.

The police Saturday arrested the five artistes in connection with the attack on the office of Maa TV. Other protestors escaped after pelting stones on the office and damaging a few cars parked outside. The police shifted the artistes from Saradhi Studio to SR Nagar police station. The protestors however vowed to continue their fight until the channels stop airing dubbed serials. One artiste said the arrests would not deter them, and the protests would continue.

The artistes had earlier set a Ugadi (new year, in the local calendar) deadline for the channels to stop telecast of dubbed serials. When the deadline lapsed Thursday, the agitation grew more intense. Telugu Television Parishrama Parirakshana Samithi (TTPPS) or the committee for the protection of Telugu television industry has been demanding a halt to serials dubbed into Telugu from other languages, saying it was rendering local artistes jobless.

Vijay Yadav, the president of TTPPS, is on indefinite fast at Indira Park in Hyderabad. He claims that 15,000 people are dependent of the Telugu TV industry. But their livelihood is at stake because Hindi serials are being dubbed.

Vijay Yadav demands that TV channels should only telecast serials shot in Telugu and with Telugu artistes. He says that he would continue his hunger strike untill the TV channel bosses stop dubbing the serials.

Eminent filmmaker Allu Aravind, who has stakes in MAA TV, said that the agreements for dubbing the serials have already been entered into and stopping the dubbing process would entail huge losses to the channel.

MAA TV director C Ramkrishna addressed the media and said, "The board of directors and staff of MAA TV condemn this kind of protests. A security guard, who was suffered severe injuries in the incident, has been admitted to a private hospital. The Receptionist and Auditor General have escaped the incident. The moto of our channel is to entertain the viewers and we put our sincere efforts in that direction."

C Ramkrishna added, "Artistes claim that MAA TV is spoiling the Telugu culture and tradition by getting into the dubbing of Hindi serials. But no other TV channel is protect it the way we are doing."

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