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Kamal Haasan to talk with Muslim groups today

Posted on Feb 01, 12:17PM | IBNS

Chennai, Feb 1 : Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan is expected to commence his first round of talks with several Muslim groups on Friday in an attempt to and sort out the controversies over his spy thriller 'Vishwaroopam'.

The effort is also taken by the actor to facilitate the release of the film in Tamil Nadu which is scheduled to hit the theatres across India on Friday.

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

The Tamil Nadu Home Secretary will also be present during Kamal Haasan's discussions with the Muslim groups, which claimed that the film's depiction of their community is offensive.

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.