Malaysia bans Vishwaroopam

Kamal Haasan's controversial film Vishwaroopam has been removed from cinemas in Malaysia, a day after its release, following a directive from the Home Ministry, much to the disappointment ethnic Indians in the country.

Film distribution company Lotus Fivestar AV's director R Ramalingam said the ministry told him to stop screening the movie on Friday. The film, which opened in Malaysia Thursday, had played to full cinemas before it was removed. Vishwaroopam was banned in Tamil Nadu about two weeks ago following allegations that has depicted Muslims as terrorists. Haasan has taken the matter to the Madras High Court and a decision is pending.

On Saturday, a judge of the Madras High Court watched Vishwaroopam. The special screening was held to enable Justice K Venkataraman to watch the film before deciding Kamal Haasan's petition to remove the two-week suspension of its screening.

Venkataraman would pass his verdict on Monday.

DMK president M Karunanidhi, meanwhile, exhorted leaders of the protest to discuss the matter with Kamal in a democratic manner to pave way for the release of the film without further delay. "Kamal is a person who had love and respect for the Muslim community," he said.

PMK leader S Ramadoss said, "The state government has been indulging in acts against the freedom of expression. It is not appropriate to ban a movie."

Meanwhile, the movie was screened in Hyderabad on Saturday, a day after screenings were suspended on the state police's order.

In Karnataka, despite protests, the film was screened although it was scheduled to be released on Sunday.

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