Vishwaroopam makes the cut, Tamil Nadu lifts ban

Haasan agrees to chop some scenes, dialogues

Clearing the way for screening of Kamal Haasan's Tamil movie Vishwaroopam, the ban on it was lifted on Sunday, a day after the actor-director struck a compromise with Muslim groups to end the week-long standoff.

In a swift follow-up action, district collectors across Tamil Nadu revoked prohibitory orders under which the release was banned on January 23 after Muslim outfits came out strongly against the mega budget movie, holding some scenes in it hurt their sentiments.

Official sources said the prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144 of CrPc have been lifted.

However, the fans may have to wait a little longer to watch the film, originally slated to hit theatres in the state on January 25, as certain procedures remain to be completed.Haasan had said he would announce the release date after consultations with his technical team on effecting the cuts besides informing the censor board. Also, the petition challenging the government's ban, pending before Madras High Court, has to be formally withdrawn, as agreed by the actor at yesterday's talks.

While a single judge had allowed the release, a division bench later upheld the ban and reverted the issue to the former, fixing the hearing for February 6. Faced with opposition from Muslim outfits, the government had imposed the ban citing threat of violence with chief minister Jayalalithaa defending the action.

A government brokered meeting between Haasan and Muslim groups broke the logjam on Saturday, with the actor agreeing to some cuts, including muting some dialogues.

The ban that raised a storm had elements of drama as the 58-year-old actor spoke of his trauma of having pledged his house to make the film and even threatening self-imposed exile to look for a secular place outside Tamil Nadu or overseas.

The multi-lingual film, made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, was originally slated for release on January 11 but hit a roadblock first when theatre owners opposed the tech-savvy actor's move to release the spy thriller on DTH platform, forcing him to put it on hold indefinitely.

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