Vishwaroopam row: More talks this evening?

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 01, 2013 11:00 hrs

Chennai: Following preliminary talks moderated by Tamil Nadu Home Secretary R. Rajagopal between Chandra Haasan, Kamal Haasan's brother, and the leaders of 24 Muslim organisations on Friday, both parties are likely to meet formally in the evening in a bid to end the ban on the film ‘Vishwaroopam’.

"Both parties have finished the first round of talks. They will meet formally around 6 p.m. to come to an amicable solution," a government source told IANS.

Both parties convened for the talks around 11:45 a.m.

After the meeting, sources indicated that the Muslim groups have suggested that nine minutes of the film must be cut, in order to reach an consensus.

On behalf of his brother, Chandra Haasan sat for the first round of talks in an attempt to sort out the controversies over the spy thriller 'Vishwaroopam'.

The effort has been taken to facilitate the release of the film in Tamil Nadu which is scheduled to hit the theatres across India on Friday. Actor Kamal Haasan is currently in Mumbai.

"There are seven to eight minutes of the film that need to edited," said Mohammed Hanifa on behalf of the Muslim organisations, which complained that certain scenes were derogatory to their community.

Both sides are likely to come an amicable agreement.

Muslim leaders met Tamil filmmaker Ameer Sultan and Chandra Haasan's production company Raj Kamal Films International Thursday.

"We've submitted letters to the government requesting it to oversee the talks between Raj Kamal Films International and (Muslim) leaders", Chandra Haasan said later Thursday.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa asserted that the government will facilitate the discussion.

Earlier on Thursday Jayalalithaa broke her silence and said she halted the release of 'Vishwaroopam' in the state fearing violence based on intelligence reports and not for any grudge against the actor-filmmaker.

"We rely on intelligence inputs and it says there is likely to be trouble and violence in certain place due to such and such places. So it is for us to take preventive steps," Jayalalithaa had said addressing media on Thursday.

"Our primary objective was to maintain only law and order. We have no motive to curb freedom of speech," she had said, asking Haasan to reach an amicable solution with the Muslim groups.

"I have no personal grudge against anyone," she said, adding that if at all she had an adversary it is her political adversary M Karunanidhi of DMK whose family made films she could have targetted instead of going for Haasan.

"If the leaders of the Muslim organizations and Kamal Haasan can sit together and work out amicably and if agrees to delete some objectional portion the decks will be cleared for release and we will do everything to facilitate it," added Jayalalithaa.

She said the movie was to release in 524 theatres and it would be impossible to offer protection, ruling out any question in curbing freedom of speech.

Haasan said he is thankful to Jayalalithaa for breaking her silence on the issue.

"I just thanked that my Chief Minister (Jayalalithaa) has come came forward. She had nothing to do with it," Haasan told reporters ahead of the premiere of the film in Mumbai.

The film was slated to not release in Tamil Nadu till Feb 6 after the stay order since the bench set aside the interim order by a single bench judge of the same court.

Vishwaroopam is written, directed and co-produced by Haasan that features him in the lead role.

The film also has Pooja Kumar, Rahul Bose, Andrea Jeremiah and Jaideep Ahlawat in supporting roles.

The film, which is a 95 crore project was shot in many locations, including largely in USA, while sets resembling Afghanistan were constructed in Chennai.

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