NEW DELHI, March 4: A Hollywood film on Osama bin Laden being filmed in Chandigarh has found rightwing Hindus, Muslims and local traders making a common cause against the shooting, The Hindu newspaper said on Sunday.

It said after the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), it was the turn of a Muslim outfit on Saturday to protest the shooting of Kathryn Bigelow’s film on Osama bin Laden in the Indian city. The Muslim outfit said the shooting would disturb the peaceful atmosphere between the communities in a secular country.

“We express our great concern over the shooting of Zero Dark Thirty or ZD 30. This picture will create more differences between Muslim and other communities. It will provoke other communities and law and order will be badly affected and the peaceful atmosphere of the region disturbed,” Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind’s North India General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed Kasmi said in a memorandum submitted to the Chandigarh’s Deputy Commissioner.

Later, talking to the Press Trust of India, Mr Kasmi said: “We are Muslims living in a secular country where such type of activities should not have been allowed by the administration in the first place. We demand that the shooting of this film be stopped forthwith.”

He alleged an attempt was being made through this film to portray the Muslim community in poor light.

“If they have to shoot this film, they should go to Pakistan and not shoot it in India as here we apprehend the peaceful atmosphere will be disturbed. The film will portray Muslims as terrorists, which is wrong,” he said.

Earlier during the day, a group of traders in Sector 26’s grain market, where the film’s shooting was going on, also lodged their protest against the movie.

“It is badly affecting our business. The entire area has been sealed and customers cannot reach our shops,” a trader based in the grain market was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

On Friday, the film crew was forced to cancel the shoot and move the cameras away after the protests when a few scenes of the film were being recreated to show areas in Pakistan by the Oscar-winning director at Manimajra town on the outskirts of the city.

VHP activists, led by Vijay Singh Bhardwaj, had disrupted the shooting and removed the signboards in Urdu put up in a few shops.

They had also raised slogans against Pakistan and removed its flags that were put in place to recreate the spot in Abbottabad where United States commandos killed Osama on May 2, 2011.

Ms Bigelow had later said no Pakistani flag would be erected in the shooting areas.

The crew has been shooting this week in prominent bazaars in Chandigarh, at the Punjab Engineering College and at Patiala, changing local shop boards to Urdu, showing auto-rickshaws with Lahore number plates, Burqa-clad women and men in salwar- kameez, chappals and skullcaps, the paper said.

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