Niharika Konidela did nothing wrong, says father Naga Babu after Hyderabad pub raid

With actor and producer Niharika Konidela’s name being associated with the pub raid in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills on April 3, her father Naga Babu Konidela has issued a video statement saying his daughter was not at fault.

Naga Babu, who is the brother of actors Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan, said that Niharika had done nothing wrong, and requested people not to spread ‘unwanted speculations.’ Niharika was among the scores of people present at the Pudding and Mink pub in Radisson Blu hotel in the upscale Banjara Hills area when it was raided by Hyderabad police in the early hours of April 3.

Police said that they found packets of white powder suspected to be cocaine on the premises of the pub, and have booked three persons including the manager of the pub under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

While visuals show Niharika being taken to the Banjara Hills police station, the police have not named her in a list of “respondent persons” in connection with the incident.

In his statement, Naga Babu said, “I am responding to last night’s incident at the pub in Radisson Blu as my daughter Niharika was present there at the time. As the pub was being operated beyond permitted hours, police took action on the pub. As far as Niharika is concerned, she is clear.

As per the information shared by the police, they said Niharika has done nothing wrong. To avoid unwanted speculations on social and mainstream media, I am releasing this video. Our conscience is very clear, I request you not to spread unwanted speculations.”

Around 142 people who were present in the pub were taken to the Banjara Hills police station, including actor Niharika Konidela, singer Rahul Sipligunj, and TDP MP Galla Jayadev’s son Galla Siddharth.

It was also reported that a few other members of prominent families, including those of politicians, were among those present at the pub when it was raided.

Based on specific information that a party was being organised at the pub in violation of rules by operating beyond its permitted hours, a police team carried out the raid, and as many as 142 customers besides the hotel staff were brought to a police station, questioned and the customers were later let off, police said.

Among those arrested in the drugs case are the manager of the pub Mahadaram Anil Kumar, and Abhishek Vuppala, who is a partner of the pub, a press release from the Hyderabad Police said. Abhishek’s mother, BJP leader Vuppala Sarada, claimed that her son was innocent, The New Indian Express reported.