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Sarkar director Murugadoss files for anticipatory bail amid row, hearing today

India November 09(IM): The director of Tamil movie Sarkar, Murgudoss, has sought anticipatory bail amid growing protests over alleged depiction of former chief minister Jayalalithaa even as the makers have agreed to remove “objectionable” scenes and “mute” an apparent reference to her.

The publicist of the film Riaz K Ahmed confirmed that the makers did decide to delete the scenes and are awaiting a nod from the Censor Board before releasing the new version. “The distributors of different regions got together with the producers to make this decision and the re-censor is being done only because certain scenes have been changed.”

Adding to the controversy surrounding the movie, was Murugadoss’ late night tweet on Thursday where he wrote, “Police had come to my house late tonight and banged the door several times. Since I was not there they left the premises. Right now I was told there is no police outside my house.”

Actor Vishal expressed his shock on Twitter and in turn tweeted, “Police in Dir Murugadoss s home????? For Wat?? Hoping and really hoping that nothing unforeseen happens. Censor has cleared the film and the content is watched by public.den why all this hue and cry.”

Tamil star Rajinikanth also came out in support of the director, slamming AIADMK for objecting to and seeking changes to a film cleared by Censor Board.

“It is against the law to hold protests seeking removal of some scenes from a Censor board certified film and trying to stall the screening and damaging the banners,” he tweeted.

The AIADMK has been protesting since the Diwali release of the movie with senior AIADMK ministers demanding deletion of the objectionable scenes, besides threatening to initiate legal action if the film crew failed to comply.

Theatre owners’ body had announced on Friday that the edited version would be screened from Friday afternoon.

M Subramaniam, president, West Zone Theatre Owners’ Association, said they had spoken to Sun Pictures and the film’s Tamil Nadu distributor, telling them they could not screen the movie with objectionable scenes.

“They said they would edit the scenes. Following a letter of approval) from the Censor Board, we will start screening the edited version Friday afternoon,” he told PTI.

In the film, Vijay plays an NRI who returns to India to vote, only to realise his vote has been cast illegally. He then digs deep into the matter, stirring up a political turmoil.

Certain scenes show grinder, mixers and fans being burnt, seen as an obvious reference to the late Jayalalithaa’s flagship schemes of providing these items free of cost, in line with an electoral promise in 2011. Also, a woman character’s name is an alleged reference to Jayalalithaa.

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