Madras HC stays release of 'Vishwaroopam', Kamal Haasan may approach SC

Chennai, Jan. 30 (ANI): In a major setback to actor Kamal Haasan, the Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed the release of his film 'Vishwaroopam', setting aside the interim order given by the single judge bench yesterday.

The latest development in this regard came after the Tamil Nadu Government approached the Madras High Court after a single judge bench of the high court lifted the ban on Haasan's movie.

The state government sought an immediate hearing of the appeal on the issue.

Meanwhile, Haasan has agreed to delete some scenes and words in his mega-budget thriller Vishwaroopam as part of a compromise with the Muslim groups to ensure that the film releases in theatres in Tamil Nadu.

"I am ready to edit a few portions of the film," he said.

The actor also appealed his fans to maintain the law and order.

According to reports, petrol bombs were hurled at two theatres, around 600 kilometres from Chennai, which were scheduled to show Vishwaroopam.

Nobody was, however, injured in the incident.

Television channels are also reporting that Haasan plans to move the Supreme Court on the issue.

Expressing disappointment with the Tamil Nadu Government's move to appeal against the Madras High Court's verdict that allowed his big-budget thriller 'Vishwaroopam' to be released in the state, Haasan earlier in the day said he would look for another country to stay if he could not find a secular place in India.

Haasan, however, said he would wait for the judgement that is expected later this afternoon.

"Now, I shall wait for the afternoon judgement. But add to this, I think I will have to seek a secular state for me to stay in. And that choice would be a place where it would be a secular state. If I can't find it within India, I will hopefully find another country, which is secular that might take me in. M F Husain had to do it, and now Haasan will do it," he said.

Haasan described the ban on his film as a political game.

"The film shows started and was stopped again. The police have come and sent out those asking for physical order from the court, which we are yet to receive. We might or might not, I don't know about it. It is still sub-judice. The honourable judge will tell us whether we will get the interim order or not," said Hassan.

"But, I believe that along with my Muslim friends I have been instrument in a political game. I don't know who is playing it," he added.

Haasan further said that he has hawked his house to a moneylender to make this film and it is two months since it is overdue.

"For the sake of this film, I have hawked this (my) house to my moneylender who has shown great patience and now it is nearly two months since he lost his patience. And, I have pawned all my properties that I own in Chennai and surroundings to him in case he doesn't realise his money on a particular date, he will take over this place," he said.

The 58-year-old actor also said that the Tamil Nadu Government wants him out of the state.

The Rs.95-crore espionage thriller was originally scheduled to release in Tamil and Telugu Jan 25. However, a day before the screenings, the Tamil Nadu government imposed a two-week ban on the film after some Muslim groups complained that some scenes in it portrayed the community in bad light.

"Vishwaroopam" was banned from being screened in Kerala, parts of Hyderabad, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh on January 25, soon after the first show. (ANI)

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