HC Judge views spl screening of 'Vishwaroopam', protests in Karna, Kerala

A single judge of Madras High Court today watched Kamal Haasan's controversial film 'Vishwaroopam' at a special screening ahead of passing order on the actor-filmmaker's plea for a stay on the two-week ban imposed by Tamil Nadu Government on its release in the state.

The screening of the film in Karnataka was, meanwhile, disrupted in some parts of Mysore, Bangalore and Shimoga districts following protests, police said. One theatre in Mysore was vandalised by protesters, police added.

The Telugu version of the spy thriller was screened in Hyderabad city after its release was suspended yesterday on police's order while the film continued to run in theatres in Kerala for the second day despite protests from a section of Muslim organisations.

The special screening of the film that has raised the hackles of several Muslim groups was watched by Justice K Venkataraman along with stakeholders at a private studio in Chennai, court sources said.

The Judge had on January 24 declined to grant the interim injunction sought by Haasan on government ban which followed protests from various Muslim organisations over alleged depiction of their community in a negative light.

Passing orders on Haasan's petition challenging the ban, the Judge had ordered that the film's release be deferred till January 28 by which time he would view it.

Haasan has held a special screening of the film for the Muslim outfit leaders but failed to win their approval.

Though the film was scheduled to be released in Karnataka from tomorrow, its screening began today, police said, adding "adequate protection is being given for screening of the film".

The screening was, however, disrupted in some parts of Mysore, Bangalore and Shimoga districts following protests, police said.

The screening of the film at Balaji Theatre in Mysore was stopped after protests from some Muslim organisations, who vandalised the premises causing damage to it.

In Kerala, the screening of the movie was disrupted in some parts of Ernakulam, Idukki and Palakkad districts following protests by certain Muslim outfits. PTI DSJ BDN MVG

Meanwhile, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today appealed to the Muslim community members not to prolong their protests over screening of the movie.

"A solution should be found in a democratic and consultative manner", he said in a statement here.

"The (state) government which is responsible to safeguard the law and order should also co-operate (to find a solution)", he said.

Stating that he or his party never supported any criticism or an outcry against the members of Muslim community, Karunanidhi said "no one can reject that (Tamil superstars) Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan have enough affection and respect from the Islam society".

"No one can reject my comment that good relations must prevail between the members of Muslim community and other community", he said.

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