HASSAN: Tension prevailed at the Chennakeshava temple in Belur after a film crew from Hyderabad shooting for a Telugu film got into a spat with locals after crew members installed a Shiva idol in the premises of the historical Vishnu temple on Thursday. After one resident threatened to file a case for hurting the sentiments of the people, the crew decided to shift the location to Mysuru and packed up on Friday night.

On Thursday, locals expressed their anger against the crew officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), who gave permission for the shoot of the Allu Arjun starrer Duvvada Jagannatham. Locals said such a depiction was a distortion of the history of the temple. They added that it will send a wrong message to the public when the film is released.

They also accused the ASI officials of not protecting cultural heritage.

Visiting foreign and domestic tourists too were angry as security men, employed by the filmmakers, allegedly refused to allow them entry inside the ASI-protected structure for hours as shooting was in progress. Finally, police had to intervene and pacify the locals and tourists.Police said no case has been filed till Friday night.

Sudhakar, a social worker, asked how the ASI could give permission for shooting to a film crew when the temple was facing a terror threat.

Defending permission granted to the crew, Kamath, junior conservator of the archaeological department, said permission for the seven-day shooting was granted to the crew. The filmmakers have to pay the department Rs 50,000 per day for the shoot.

Police later allowed the shooting to resume after the crew gave an undertaking that they will shoot the movie without blocking the entry of tourists and also removed the idol. However, the crew members alleged that some local leaders were inciting people to cause disturbances and they had decided to pack up and shift the location to Mysuru.