Hyderabad, Aug 23 (IANS) Telugu film actresses Saira Banu and Jyoti and seven others were caught in a prostitution racket busted by Hyderabad police here Monday. The two were later released while the other seven were sent to judicial custody.
Saira, who played the lead role in a few Telugu films, and Jyoti, a supporting actress in many films, were arrested along with a woman from Uzbekistan and their customers from an apartment in the upscale Kundan Bagh neighbourhood.
While the actresses were released by a city court after they pleaded innocence, the remaining accused were remanded to judicial custody till Sep 3.
The actresses later told reporters that they were not involved in the sex racket. Jyoti claimed that she had gone to the apartment as she was invited by an assistant director Chandu to discuss a film proposal. She said she was not aware that he was running a sex racket.
All the accused were taken to Panjagutta police station and from there to Nampally criminal court.
According to police, six others including a woman were running the sex racket. They had agreed to pay Rs.10 lakh to Uzbek national Sabrina for 10 days.
Sources have not ruled out involvement of some rich and famous in the racket. Kundan Bagh is a high-security area having houses of ministers, bureaucrats and other VIPs.
The city police commissioner's Task Force raided the apartment early Monday on specific information.
This is not the first time that a Telugu film actress has been arrested for prostitution. In 2009, Seema was arrested during a raid in Hyderabad's Tarnaka area.
The latest sex racket has come as yet another shocker for the Telugu film industry and comes close on the heels of the arrest of two brothers of actor Ravi Teja while buying drugs from a Nigerian national.
Police Commissioner A.K. Khan has gone on record to say police were keeping a watch on 60 personalities, including Telugu film actresses, suspected to be consuming drugs.