Kamal Haasan requests fans to stay calm

Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan Wednesday urged his fans to remain calm after the Madras High Court reimposed a ban on his film "Vishwaroopam".

"Please don't turn the difference in opinions into any untoward incidents. By taking the matter into your hands, things may worsen," Haasan told his fans.

"I'm fighting legally on your behalf," he added.

Fans thronged Haasan's residence here since the verdict by a two-member bench chaired by Justice Dharma Rao reimposed the high court's earlier ban on "Vishwaroopam", the Rs.95 crore espionage thriller which was written, produced and directed by Haasan.

Earlier in the day, Haasan, 58, threatened to leave the country and search for a "secular state" to live in from where he can continue making films.

"If there is no secular state in India, I would go overseas. I think Tamil Nadu wants me out," Haasan said.

He added: "M.F. Husain had to do it (leave India) and now Haasan will have to do it."

"My Muslim brothers have pointed out a few scenes in the film which I have agreed to delete. Objectionable scenes such as some words from the Koran in the film will be deleted," he said.

The film was to release Jan 25 in Tamil Nadu but was screened only in a few theatres in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, where it was banned after the first show.

As protests gained momentum, it was also banned in Malaysia and Sri Lanka after a two-day run.

As Haasan's critics and fans took to the streets, sporadic violence was reported in Tamil Nadu. Miscreants attacked some theatres in the state with petrol bombs and vandalized properties.

In Chennai, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi wondered whether the ban was linked to Haasan's comment indirectly supporting Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as India's prime minister.

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