The release of Kamal Haasan's controversial film Vishwaroopam, scheduled
for today in Karnataka, has been put on hold pending clearance from police in
the wake of protests against its screening in some places of the state.
The film was slated to be released in 40 theatres across the state, including 12
in the city. But its opening was delayed as Bangalore Police Commissioner
Jyothiprakash Mirji wanted to view it before giving the nod for its screening,
sole distributor of the multi-lingual movie in the state H D Gangaraju told
Mirji watched the Rs 100 crore budget film at a special screening this afternoon
but is yet to convey his decision, Gangaraju said.
The film, facing a two week-ban in Tamil Nadu due to its alleged anti-Muslim
content, hit screens worldwide on January 25 but its release was deferred in
Karnataka till today following a police suggestion in view of "Milad-un-Nabi"
and Republic Day.
However, Mirji today expressed his wish to view the film before giving
permission for its release in view of a group clash in Bhadravathi yesterday
over the screening of the film, Gangaraju, also a former President of Karnataka
Film Chamber of Commerce, said.
Tension gripped Bhadravathi town in Shimoga district when two groups clashed
over the screening of the film, prompting police to use canes to disperse them.
The district administration had imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of
the CrPC for 48 hours in the town.