Monday morning many Telugu film industry fans must woken up to read that Neetu Agarwal, who acted in a recent film “Prema Prayanam”, produced by her husband and YSR Congress memebr Mastan Vali.
While Mastan Vali was linked to smuggler Balu Naidu, who was arrested on April 13 and the actress had reportedly transferred huge amount to the smuggler at the instance of her “husband” Mastan Vali.
While one can show lip sympathy at her ignorance, the actress should have known that any such transfer is illegal that too for banned forest trees in the country.
The case involving 34 logs of red sanders seized by forest officials from Balu Naidu opened up the pandora box linking the actress who had transferred the money, she claimed was at the instance of Mastan Vali. An FIR was booked last week under Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Forest Act against her and the Kurnool police were on look out for her.
The 27-year-old actress was arrested in Hyderabad and taken to Allagadda in Kurnool district and after check-up at a government hospital, she was produced before a magistrate, who sent her to judicial custody.
Neetu Agarwal worked in film “Prema Prayanam” produced by Vali in 2013, whom she once claimed to have married and no wonder the transfer of money should have been at his instance. Despite being an actress, Neetu Agarwal’s case should point out at the heinous criminal links some film producers have and their victims are often the female leads in their films.
AP Police had shot 20 woodcutters employed by red sander smugglers in Seshachalam forests in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh on April 7 and the case has opened up a bigger picture of the involvement of local people with sandalwood smugglers in Tamil Nadu.
Few months ago, Telugu film actresses Sweta Basu Prasad or Divya Sri came under hood for prostitution charges while veteran TV actress Yamuna met similar fate years ago. But smuggling charges against Neetu Agarwal open up a new chapter in crime-film links that too in red sanders smuggling.
Unfortunate but Neetu Agarwal’s budding film career will end unless the actress comes out clean from the charges. Perhaps, it is time NCERT and State Education boards include forest act and its violation too in their textbooks.