Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi Monday visited Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district and paid homage to former legislator Paritala Ravi, whose character he has played in Ram Gopal Varma's new film "Rakta Charitra".
Vivek visited Paritala Ghat and offered floral tributes to the former minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader, who was gunned down by his rivals in Anantapur in 2005.
Supporters of Paritala family and fans welcomed Vivek. He was taken around the town in a convoy.
Greeting people in Telugu, the actor said it was satisfying for him to play the character of Paritala Ravi. He said he was overwhelmed by the fans' response to the movie.
Vivek's visit to the town is significant as director Ram Gopal Varma had to cancel his visit Friday.
The trilingual film in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil revolves around the feud between families of gangster-turned-politicians Paritala Ravi and Suryanarayana Reddy alias Maddelachervu Suri. It stars Vivek Oberoi, Surya and Shatrughan Sinha in key roles.
Ravi was gunned down in 2005 allegedly by the followers of Congress leader Suri. Suri was allegedly involved in the bomb blast in Hyderabad's posh Jubilee Hills.
Suri earlier made an attempt to kill Ravi in 1997 at the Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad. Though Ravi escaped unhurt, 25 people were killed and many injured in the bomb blast.
Anantapur district is part of the backward Rayalaseema region, notorious for factional killings. Factions backed by political parties have been engaged in bloody battles for decades for supremacy in Andhra Pradesh villages, especially in Anantapur district.
The movie triggered a row much before the release with peace activists and NGOs opposing it on the ground that it could lead to a fresh spell of violence.
Locals also raised objection to Varma using the name of the district in the film. The protests forced him to change the name to Anandapuram.
Following protest by TDP workers Friday, Varma agreed to delete objectionable scenes allegedly projecting former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao in poor light in the movie.
The TDP leaders alleged that Varma projected Rao as the one who encouraged factional violence by inducting Paritala Ravi into the party.