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'My Name Is Khan': India Police Detain 1,100 Over Film Protest

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MUMBAI, India — Hindu nationalist mobs rampaged through India's cultural center Wednesday, tearing up movie posters and stoning a theater in protest of Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan's comments in support of Pakistani cricketers.

Police in Mumbai said they had detained more than 1,100 Hindu nationalists to prevent the disruption of screenings of Khan's new movie, "My Name is Khan."

Senior police official Himanshu Roy said 21,000 police would guard the more than 60 theaters in Mumbai that plan to screen the film and would frisk movie-goers.

"More security would be provided if needed," he said.

The Shiv Sena, a Mumbai-centered political party known for regional chauvinism and Hindu fundamentalism, has branded Khan a traitor for expressing regret that no cricketers from Pakistan – India's archrival – were chosen to participate in next month's Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.

Khan, who is Muslim, has refused to apologize for the comments.

Shiv Sena activists rampaged through parts of Mumbai for a second day Wednesday, ripping down posters for Khan's highly promoted new movie. They attacked at least one cinema planning to screen the film, to be released Friday, and burned effigies of the actor.

Roy said 1,100 people were detained Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fearing more violence, several theaters have stopped advance ticket sales.

The Shiv Sena – which means Shiva's Army – has lost some influence in recent years but remains a force in Mumbai, where it combines hard-line Hindu politics with sporadic violence.