Just hours ahead of its slated release, the much awaited blockbuster Vishwaroopam from Kamal Haasan, has been banned from screening across the state of Tamil Nadu.
The movie is alleged to create “law and order” problems in the state. The State government has taken a decision to empower the District Collectors to invoke Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and restrain the theatre owners from screening the movie on January 25. Commissioner of Police S. George has circulated an order instructing the theatre owners not to screen the film to ensure peace and public tranquility.
Ban to preserve communal harmony
The ban comes in the wake of several Muslim organisations in the state expressing fear that the “film could disturb communal harmony”. A special screening of the movie was arranged for them a few days ago. However Kamal Hasan has maintained that the movie is not against Muslims in any way.
The decision to ban Vishwaroopam was taken in a high-level meeting at the government secretariat in Chennai.
The movie was scheduled to hit the screens on Friday, with tickets in many theatres across TN getting sold out. “It is up to the theatre owners to decide on refund.” – police officials were reported saying.
The movie had been in controversies over its release for other reasons as well. Kamal Haasan had plans for premiering the movie on Direct To Home (DTH). The move had to be dropped after opposition by theatre owners that the move would affect their revenues. Kamal Haasan had later decided to launch the film on DTH a week after the theatrical release.