Hyderabad: The Charminar Police on Monday booked actor Ram Pothineni for smoking in public. Interestingly, the actor was shooting a movie sequence for his upcoming movie ‘iSmart Shankar’, which involved depicting the hero while smoking a cigarette. The actor, along with the movie crew of ‘iSmart Shankar’, which also stars Nidhhi Agarwal and Brahmanandam, were shooting a movie scene near Charminar.
“During the shooting of the movie sequence, the actor was smoking a cigarette. We booked a case under Section 4 of the COTPA Act 2003 against him and levied a fine of Rs 200. The actor paid the fine amount,” said ACP Charminar B Anjaiah.
Smoking in the vicinity of the 400-odd-year old monument is prohibited and authorities recently had declared the entire region as ‘No Smoking’ zone. In fact, signboards warning the public about the restrictions were put up around the monument. After the restrictions were imposed, a team of police personnel frequently move around the historic precinct and penalise visitors who are caught smoking cigarettes. A fine amount of Rs 200 is imposed on the violators under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTA).
“So far 20 persons were caught and fined for smoking at the Charminar. We intend to continue the drive because it helps in spreading awareness about ill effects of tobacco,” said Charminar police station sub-inspector, B Pandary. In fact, recently Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar had said that the city police will extend full support on the issue of curbing the habit of public smoking. To this effect, the city police are collaborating with the Health Department and voluntary organisations.