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VHP activists disrupt Osama film shooting

The shooting of Kathryn Bigelow's film on Osama bin Laden here to depict killing of al Qaeda leader in Abbottabad was stalled today by VHP activists who objected to hoisting of Pakistani flags.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 02, 2012 20:05 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists in Chandigarh stalled the shooting on Friday of Oscar-winning Hollywood director Kathryn Bigelow's film on Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's killing.

The members of the Hindu right wing group raised objections over the creation of film sets resembling a Pakistani market, including hoardings and banners, and flying of a Pakistani flag in the area, Manimajra.

Station house officer of Manimajra police station, Rajesh Shukla, said the police called both parties and sorted out the issue.
The shooting resumed at around 5 pm near sector 26, around 3km from the original site.

"While we had no problem with boards or banners in Urdu, we were upset over using the Pakistani flag during the shooting," said Vijay Singh Bhardwaj, president of VHP's Chandigarh branch.

"We will never allow Pakistan's flags flying at places in the city."
A senior crew member said that they had no intention of hurting the sentiments of people here.

Darshan Aulakh, who is handling the film's local production, said such incidents should be discouraged as they send the wrong message outside India. "For Chandigarh, it is matter of pride that such a big Hollywood director has been shooting here," he said. "Moreover, the shooting has been providing employment to over 300 people every day."

The shooting for the film, tentatively titled Zero Dark 30, is expected to continue in the city for the next 3-4 weeks.

The shooting, which began on Tuesday in Mohali's Manakpur Sharif area and continued in Chandigarh's Sector 15 market and Manimajra, is attracting a lot of attention as Urdu written boards, autorickshaws with Pakistani number plates, burqa-clad women and men in shalwar-kameez, chappals and skullcaps are part of the settings.

Bigelow won an Oscar in 2010 for best director for The Hurt Locker, an Iraq war film that bagged five more Academy Awards.

First Published: Mar 02, 2012 17:21 IST