Kamal away, talks wait

Chennai, Feb. 1: The talks between Muslim groups and actor-director Kamal Haasan over revoking the ban on his Tamil film Vishwaroopam got postponed to Saturday as the actor was yet to return from Mumbai.

The Muslim groups who met Kamal Haasan's elder brother and business partner Chandra Haasan and his lawyer informed home secretary R. Rajagopal that they would require Kamal Haasan's presence to avoid any misunderstanding or communication gaps.

Since Kamal Haasan is expected to return to Chennai on Saturday morning from Mumbai, the two sides agreed to meet on Saturday.

In another gesture to the minorities, the Tamil Nadu government has urged film makers through the governor's address to the Assembly on Friday, that they should be sensitive to the sentiments of people while making films.

If there is a breakthrough, the movie is likely to be released on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Hindi version of the movie, titled Vishwaroop, released across India, including Uttar Pradesh, where the state government had threatened to ban it initially.

In Lucknow, activists of the All-India Sunni Board held a protest demanding that the "objectionable" portions be removed from the movie.

There was strong police deployment at theatres today although the morning screening was halted because of a delay in the arrival of prints, sources said.

But its noon show went ahead as planned and there were no untoward incidents they said.

Senior Samajwadi Party leader Ram Asrey Kushwaha had yesterday said that Haasan's film could be banned in Uttar Pradesh if it was found that it "hurt the sentiments" of Muslims and indulges in "character assassination".

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