BOMBAY, India, March 28 (AFP) - Police in the western city of Bombay have arrested film actress Sonali Bendre for an "offensive" picture of her that adorned a magazine cover three years ago. Bendre had posed bare-legged, in a short, ochre-coloured loose shirt which had Hindu religious phrases printed on it for the cover of the March 1998 issue of the entertainment magazine Showtime.

"We arrested her on Tuesday for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings," police inspector Nandkumar Gopale said.

A complaint had been filed against the actress by a few private individuals alleging the photo offended their religious sensibilities. Along with Bendre, police also arrested the photographer who shot the picture and the designer of the shirt. They were produced on Tuesday before a local court which released them on bail. Police attributed the delay in the arrest to the need for obtaining permission from the state government as the magazine was a "registered" publication.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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