Ramgopal Varma denied entry into Vijayawada to promote film Lakshmi's NTR, gets sent back to Hyderabad

Ramgopal Varma, along with the film's producer Rakesh Reddy and other unit members planned to organise a press conference at 4 pm on Sunday in Vijayawada to publicise the movie.

Press Trust of India April 29, 2019 16:53:41 IST
Ramgopal Varma denied entry into Vijayawada to promote film Lakshmi's NTR, gets sent back to Hyderabad

Film-maker Ramgopal Varma was barred entry into Vijayawada Sunday to promote his latest Telugu movie Lakshmi's NTR.

He was detained by the city police and sent back to Hyderabad without assigning any reason.

Varma later tweeted to inform that the press meet organised was cancelled due to police intervention.

Lakshmi's NTR is based on the life of Telugu Desam founder and former Chief Minister N T Rama Rao. The film is a portrayal of the events that led to NTR's 'dethroning' in an intra-party coup in August 1995 by his son-in-law Chandrababu Naidu.  

Ramgopal Varma denied entry into Vijayawada to promote film Lakshmis NTR gets sent back to Hyderabad

Source: Instagram.

After clearing the Election Commission and High Court hurdles in view of the 11 April general elections, the film is set for 1 May release in Andhra Pradesh, though it hit the screens in all other places early this month. Varma, along with the film's producer Rakesh Reddy and other unit members planned to organise a press conference at 4 pm on Sunday in Vijayawada to publicise the movie. He booked hotel for the purpose but the hotel management allegedly cancelled the reservation. 

As he landed at Gannavaram airport in the afternoon and started proceeding towards the city, police stopped Varma and the film unit members on the outskirts and took them back to the airport.

"All of us were stopped, made to get down from our cars and forcibly made to sit in their cars. They told us we are not allowed to enter into Vijayawada or stay there. We were dropped at the airport," the film director said in a short video message posted on Twitter. He said he failed to understand why the police did all this.

"Police have a responsibility to maintain law and order but they are unable to say why they are preventing from entering into a city. They have no answer. That's what is happening and I will try to update later," Varma added.

Some time later he posted another message saying, "I can't communicate because they blocked my insta facebook twitter live"

When contacted, an Assistant Commissioner of Police claimed that there was "no permission" for Varma to conduct a press meet on the road.

"We don't know about the hotels but the election code is in force and any public activity requires prior permission.

Since there is a possibility of breach of peace, we did not allow the film unit to visit the city," he added.

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