Fifteen Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly disrupting a film shoot at Aksa beach in Malad (W).
The MNS activists claimed the foreign artistes were working in the film, Angel, without work permits. But the police found that they had employment visas.
Police Sub-Inspector Sameer Salunkhe, who is investigating the case, said the film’s director Ganesh Acharya was present at the shoot. “The foreigners had employment visas and as the MNS workers disrupted the shoot we arrested them for unlawful assembly,” said Salunkhe.
Acharya confirmed he had foreign nationals at his film shoot.
“All the foreigner dancers have employment visas. But the MNS workers came to the sets and disrupted the shoot and we suffered losses,” he said.
The Malvani police said the MNS activists barged on the film set and asked the choreographer to show the work permits of the 27 foreign dancers who were shooting for a song.
The activists, led by MNS Cine Workers’ Association president Amey Khopkar, asked the authorities to stop the film shoot.
“We had written to the police and demanded to check the work permits of the foreigners as we had been informed that the 27 dancers, who were shooting at the beach for the last two days, were working illegally,” said Sandeep Deshpande, district president of MNS.
“We had taken the police along. But instead of taking action against them, the police arrested us for unlawful assembly. We did not create any ruckus or ransack the set. Our only demand was to ask the police to check the foreigners’ work permits,” Deshpande said.
“When we did this in Bandra, it was tagged as extortion so this time we took the police along.”