Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan led a protest in Hyderabad on Saturday against the gruesome rape of an 8-year-old girl in Jammu. He demanded stringent laws to prevent violence against women and even recommended taking the law in one’s hand, in order to stop crimes against women from happening.
While addressing the press, he was also asked for his comments on actor Sri Reddy, who recently made serious sexual harassment allegations against some of the big names in the Telugu film industry. “If they want justice, they should go to police stations and the courts, not TV stations,” he said.
“It is of no use if she keeps talking on the television channels instead of fighting her case in courts. Media can only deliver a message. Only the government wings can give her justice,” he said.
Sri Reddy has become a popular topic debated on the prime TV shows in the Telugu states ever since the actor’s explosive interviews, which has raised questions on the safety of female members of the Telugu film fraternity. Reddy alleged that majority of the women face the issue of the casting couch, a euphemism for sexual harassment at the workplace. She claimed that struggling female actors are highly vulnerable to sexual exploitations.
Sri Reddy made national headlines when she ditched her clothes in protest outside the offices of film commission in Hyderabad. She recently accused Abhiram Daggubati, brother of Rana Daggubati and son of producer Suresh Babu, of sexually abusing her on false promises. She even released the pictures she took with him in their privacy. She also made allegations against veteran writer Kona Venkat and director Sekhar Kammula.
Sir Reddy has refrained from filing police complaints in the controversy, saying she wants to sort it out ‘within the family’ (read Telugu industry). She wanted the Movie Artists’ Association (MAA) to set up a special committee to take up the issues of women in the industry. Though MAA blew her off and seethed at her methods initially, the film body relented and gave in to her demands of setting up a Committee Against Sexual Harassment.