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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Shilpa Shetty gets work permit in UK

Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty has been granted a work permit by the British government that will enable her to make money from lucrative personal appearances and media interviews in the country.

A covering letter for the permit application was written by non-resident Indian leader and former minister for foreign and Commonwealth Keith Vaz who raised the issue of alleged racist bullying endured by the actress on British reality show Celebrity Big Brother in the House of Commons.

"Having originally raised the racism issue in Parliament and having met her, I was delighted to support her application to stay longer in the UK," Vaz said on Sunday.

"Her fans in the UK, particularly in Leicester, wanted her to stay longer in the UK. I am disappointed she has gone back to Mumbai as she was keen to be with her family. I hope she comes back soon."

Vaz said he wanted Shilpa Shetty, who also won the TV reality show, to stay on in the UK to see the result of the investigation by watchdog Ofcom into the racism row.

"There were 40,000 complaints against the racist bullying she faced and the investigation is still on."

Vaz said "I write hundreds of letters to help people, particularly from India and Asia. I have also taken up the case of highly skilled migrants from India who are forced to go back because of changes effected in the immigration law."

Farhath Hussain, Shilpa Shetty's agent said the work permit was done in the normal course. "A work permit normally takes two days. This one took two days," he said.


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