Special Reports

Shooting of film in Kapurthala Masjid stopped

Kapurthala: A huge set was installed inside Kapurthala’s Shahi Masjid for shooting of a film called ‘Tannu weds Munnu’ in which a scene of hero and heroine doing shopping in a Muslim locality of Lucknow was to be shot. The film company put up the sets inside the mosque without seeking anyone’s permission. Local Muslims did not appreciate the film shooting in the mosque but being a miniscule minority in Kapurthala, they only requested the company politely not to shoot the film inside the mosque but the company’s director along with local authorities sternly ordered them to go away and let them do their work. When this development was brought to the notice of the president of Kapurthala’s Majlis Ahrar, he immediately informed Ahrar’s President and Shahi Imam of Punjab, Maulana Habibur Rahman Sani Ludhianwi who asked Ahrar volunteers to immediately go to Kapurthala and ask the film director to stop shooting inside the mosque and if they don’t stop, force should be used to compel them to pack up and go. Maulana Ludhianwi also phoned Kapurthala’s Deputy Commissioner and SSP Ram Swaroop to use police force to compel the film company  to dismantle the set and leave the mosque. Along with Ahrar volunteers, district authorities after Shahi Imam’s intervention quickly went into action and started dismantling the film set in which dozens of shops and other stalls etc were erected. Shahi Imam’s secretary Muhammad Mustaqeem made it clear to the district authorities that film shooting inside the mosque will not be allowed at any cost and if shooting inside the mosque continues, it will lead to violent clashes for which the district authorities will be responsible. As a result, the authorities got the sets removed from the mosque by deploying a large police force. According to the film company, because of all this it had to suffer a loss of 22 lakh rupees.
 
Kapurthala mosque before...
 
Kapurthala mosque after...

Chairman of Punjab Waqf Board’s Committee for religious affairs, Muhammad Usman Rahmani said that the film company had not obtained anybody’s permission and after misleading the district authorities had camped at the mosque for shooting the film. He said that action against the film company has been initiated. Majlis Ahrar president of Kapurthala district, Maulana Amanullah said in a press release that film producer secretly offered him a fat amount requesting him to allow the film shooting for one hour only but he flatly refused it, saying that ‘I am not a conscience seller’.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 June 2010 on page no. 17

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