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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sania Mirza booked for trespass in mosque

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Hyderabad, Dec 13 (IANS) The police Thursday registered a case against tennis star Sania Mirza and an advertising agency for shooting a commercial in the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad without permission.

The Hussainialam police station registered a case of trespass against Sania and the advertising agency on a complaint by the minority welfare department.

Assistant commissioner of police, Charminar, B. Reddenna said the department had complained that Sania and the ad agency shot the commercial in the mosque without its permission.

The minority welfare department is responsible for the upkeep of the 17th century mosque located near Charminar, the symbol of Hyderabad.

The case was filed amid reports that some people were planning protests against the alleged desecration of the mosque after Friday prayers.

Hyderabad district minority welfare officer Kareemulla had Tuesday lodged a complaint with the police that the commercial was shot without permission. However, the police registered a case two days later.

The shooting evoked protest from the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), a powerful political party in the Muslim-majority old city, and from a section of people, who alleged that Sania and the agency had hurt their religious sentiments.

The mosque officials pointed out that the shooting of films and commercials was not permitted in the mosque premises.

Meanwhile, the police have made tight security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident Friday as some people were reportedly planning protest against the shooting of commercial.

The mosque is a major tourist centre. Tight security is in place at the mosque since the May 18 bomb blast that killed nine people. Muslims constitute 40 percent of the city's seven million population.

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