Bhubaneswar, Oct 27: The controversy involving Odia film star Manoj Mishra has taken a darker turn as he countered allegations made by actor Anubhav Mohanty regarding his alleged role in creating divisions within Ollywood.
In a video released on Wednesday, Anubhav expressed his respect for Manoj as an elder brother and a senior actor in the industry but expressed his disappointment at the perceived factionalism that Manoj was supposedly instigating within the industry.
Anubhav strongly objected to Manoj's alleged encouragement of boycotting the film 'Ram' in Sambalpur due to his personal dispute with actor Jitu Mangaraj, who appears in the film. Anubhav emphasized his love for the people, music, attire, and actors of Sambalpur, despite hailing from Cuttack. He urged Manoj not to divide their industry based on regional sentiments.
While Anubhav admitted awareness of the differences between Jitu Mangaraj and Manoj Mishra, he stated that he had remained silent to prevent the matter from escalating. Anubhav also revealed his concern that Manoj was attempting to create conflicts between Arindam, Babushan, and himself, which he found deplorable. He warned that such actions could harm not only Manoj's career but also the Odia film industry as a whole.
In response, Manoj reiterated that he played no role in the boycott of 'Ram' in Sambalpur and expressed his respect for all actors, expressing his willingness to collaborate with them.
On a personal note, Manoj recalled reaching out to Anubhav and Arindam to attend the premiere of his film "Mind Game," but received no response. He extended an olive branch, suggesting that they put their differences aside and work together to strengthen the Odia film industry and elevate it to a national and international level.
It's worth noting that 'Ram,' released on October 20 in the state, faced obstacles in Sambalpur due to a demonstration by some of Manoj's supporters, suspected of being orchestrated by him due to his personal conflict with Jitu Mangaraj.
Following this incident, the Utkal Cine Chambers of Commerce (UCCC) held a meeting and decided to bar Manoj from their upcoming movies for the next two years.