Chiranjeevi fans attack Rajasekhar, megastar apologises

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Hyderabad, Jan 28 (UNI) Telugu actor Rajasekhar and his daughter Shivani were injured in an attack in the city early today by irate fans of megastar Chiranjeevi who subsequently apologised in person for the incident.

Chiranjeevi's fans were angered over the remarks made by Rajasekhar at a press conference at Bhimavaram in West Godavari district yesterday that under no circumstances he would join Chiranjeevi's party, as he had no political experience.

Rajasekhar's wife Jeevita lodged a complaint with the police that a group of unidentified people, suspected to be Chiranjeevi fans, attacked them with iron-rods and stones, in which, her husband and daughter were injured, police said. Ms Jeevita, a film producer, and her second daughter were also travelling in the car on way to their residence from Nampalli railway station when the incident occurred under Panjagutta police limits.

The police has registered cases under section 147, 148, 341 and 324 against the assailants.

Later, talking to newspersons at Apollo Hospital, where he and his daughter were undergoing treatment, Rajasekhar said he had expressed his views candidly to the media when they repeatedly asked him about Chiranjeevi and his party. ''I would not apologise to Mr Chiranjeevi as I have the freedom to express my views,'' he added.

Expressing regret over the attack on Telugu actor Rajasekhar and his family members by his fans, Chiranjeevi today apologised to him and his wife Jeevita.

Speaking to newspersons at Rajasekhar's house after meeting his family members and daughters here, Chiranjeevi condemned the attack and called upon his fans to maintain restraint and not to resort to violent activities against anyone.

''This incident is unfortunate. This could not have happened. I understand the feelings of my fans. They were hurt with the statements made by Rajasekhar. Everyone has right to express their views in a democratic way. Rajasekhar expressed his personal opinion about me. There was nothing wrong in his opinion,'' he added.

Stating that he would personally call leaders of all his fan associations and instruct them not to resort to such violence in the future, Chiranjeevi said, ''Rajasekhar is my brother and he is the family member of the Telugu film industry.'' Asked about the launch of his political party, Chiranjeevi said this was not the stage to talk about politics.

Rajasekhar said, ''I am satisfied with the way Chiranjeevi condemned the attack on us. Nothing can be achieved by violent activities. I would urge Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to provide security to my family members to avoid such attacks in future''.

Meanwhile, a report from Vijayawada said Chiranjeevi fans, enraged by the criticism of Rajasekhar against the actor, burnt his effigy here.

Rajasekhar's remarks spread like wildfire in the coastal districts. Chiranjeevi's fans demanding an apology from the actor, barged into the compartment of an express train at Guntur last night, in which, Rajasekhar, his wife and their children were proceeding to Secunderabad.

Chiranjeevi fans in Krishna District warned Rajasekhar of dire consequences, if he failed to mend his ways.

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