Madras High Court stays release of Kamal Haasan's ‘Vishwaroopam'

MUMBAI Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:21pm IST

A still from the movie 'Vishwaroopam'. REUTERS/Handout

A still from the movie 'Vishwaroopam'.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The Madras High Court has put on hold the release of Tamil actor and film-maker Kamal Haasan's new film "Vishwaroopam" till at least January 28, television reports said on Thursday.

The film, a thriller, was mired in controversy this week with protests by some Muslim groups over its alleged depiction of the community in a negative light. The Tamil Nadu government had suspended the film's screening on Wednesday and Hassan approached the courts on Thursday.

Television channels reported that a judge will review the film on Saturday and deliver his verdict on January 28.

Mohammed Hanifa, co-ordinator for the Tamil Nadu Muslim Movements and Political Parties Confederation, said the film should be banned.

"The total script is against Islam," Hanifa told TimesNow. He said Muslim groups will wait to see the judge's verdict before deciding on the future course of action.

Haasan, 58, denied that his film was against Muslims. In a statement on Thursday, the film-maker said he was "ruthlessly used as a vehicle" by groups seeking a political profile and called for an end to "cultural terrorism".

"Vishwaroopam" was to open in cinemas on Friday. Earlier, Haasan put off the film's premiere on the direct-to-home platform after protests by cinema owners.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by Tony Tharakan)

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