Lonavala (Maharashtra), Oct 5 : At least 20 Shiv Sainiks were arrested Tuesday for trespassing and assaulting security guards outside the “Bigg Boss” venue on the outskirts of this Maharashtra hill station as they protested the presence of two Pakistanis on the TV reality show.
An official of the Lonavala police station said a group of nearly 50 Shiv Sena activists gathered outside the bungalow at Bhangarwadi Road and attempted to enter the premises where two Pakistani actors are among the 14 contestants.
“We managed to stop them from entering the premises and have arrested nearly two dozen activists on charges of trespassing on private property,” the official said.
Earlier, the Sena activists shouted slogans and protested the move by Colors TV channel to include model Veena Malik and TV actor Ali Saleem, whose TV persona Begum Nawazish Ali is very popular both in Pakistan and India.
Machhindra Kharade, Pune district chief of Shiv Sena, told IANS that protesting activists managed to enter the bungalow compound and demanded that the show be stopped till the two Pakistani actors were evicted.
“We met the site production manager Abhishek Rege and asked him to stop the shooting of the show, but he refused saying he had to consult his head office. When we warned them of dire consequences, he agreed to stop the shooting,” Kharade claimed.
An official spokesperson for Colors TV, however, denied that the shooting of the show has been stopped.
“They had come to the venue and raised slogans and handed over a memorandum of their demands. The shooting has not stopped and it will be telecast as usual tonight and tomorrow,” the spokesperson said.
The Sena agitation came hours after the party chief Bal Thackeray declared in Mumbai Tuesday that his party would not allow the show to continue at any cost.
“In India nowadays, we are destroying our self-respect. Under the guise of the show, Pakistan’s green poison is being spread in this country. Whoever loves this country, we shall ask for their support and not permit the show to continue, come what may,” he thundered.
He said the Sena would not be cowed down and his activists would disrupt the show.
Even the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has protested the inclusion of Pakistani actors on the show and demanded that Colors TV drop them from it.
“Bigg Boss”, hosted by Salman Khan in its fourth season, aired its introductory episode last Sunday.
Not willing to take any chances, Mumbai Police have beefed up security outside Colors TV offices in Andheri east since Monday.