Film shooting in mosque stopped following protest

The film "Tanu weds Manu", a love story, is being directed by Anand Malhotra and produced by Shailesh Singh.

The members of the Muslim community assembled in the famous Moorish mosque, a national heritage site, last night when they noticed that crew members of the film had erected a set in the mosque premises to shoot a scene of the film.

They lodged a strong protest there and asked the producer to show the permission of the administration to shoot the film in the premises of the mosque. The members did not allow the film producer to shoot the scene of the film in the mosque and raised slogans against the administration.

Later, Sub Divisional Magistrate S K Singla and city DSP reached the spot and directed the producer not to shoot the film in the premises of the mosque.
Deputy Commissioner Raj Kamal Chaudhary, when contacted, said the film unit did not inform the administration that it wanted to shoot in the mosque nor had the film producer taken any permission from the administration.

The producer had taken permission from the Wakf Board which was not looking after the affairs of the mosque as the mosque was declared as a national monument by Archaeological Survey of India, he said.

Chaudhary said he had directed the SDM to stop the shooting in the mosque following protests by the Muslim community.

Abdul Gaffar and Aslam, who were leading the agitators, alleged the film producer wanted to shoot the film inside the mosque, which they opposed vehemently as it was against their religious tenents to shoot in the mosque.
They alleged the director had set up a bazaar in the premises of the mosque and wanted to shoot inside the mosque.

A tense situation continued till late in the night and the administration then took a decision not to allow the shoot in the mosque.
On the other hand, the film's producer maintained that due permission from Archaeological Survey of India's Chandigarh branch had been taken by depositing Rs 21,000 for two days shooting in the mosque.

He said there was no plan to shoot inside the mosque and they had set up a bazaar outside the mosque for shooting purposes. He said they had suffered a loss of Rs 15 lakh as the shooting was stopped.

He claimed they had the approval of Deputy Commissioner and other departments to shoot in the town and even completed fourteen days of shooting in the government rest house.

The district administration had allowed the filmmaker to shoot in the government civil rest house and allowed the producer to convert the rest house into an Ashram at a nominal charge of Rs 300 per day.

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