‘Kaththi’, yet another Tamil Vijay-starrer that came under fire from Tamil fringe groups will be released on Wednesday across Tamil Nadu with police protection. The movie, which is jointly co-produced by Subhaskaran’s Lyca Productions and Ayngaran International, was caught up in controversies for the alleged business interests of the Lankan premier Rajapaksa’s family in Lyca Productions.
Breaking his silence over the issue, Tamil hero Vijay on Tuesday issued a statement confirming that references to Lyca Productions will be removed from the film’s banner and title. “As the producers have agreed to remove the name of Lyca from the title and banner, the conflict has been resolved and decks have been cleared for its release. I hope the fans and public enjoy the film this Deepavali,” said the statement. He also thanked J Jayalalithaa, police authorities and exhibitors for the support.
Karunamoorthi, one of the producers of ‘Kaththi’, directed by famed director A R Murugadoss, told the Indian Express the the movie will be released on Wednesday as per schedule and police protection is ensured to prevent any untoward incident.
R Paneerselvam of the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association also confirmed the release of the movie on Wednesday. Responding to the reports of threats from Tamil organisations, he said the police always give protection for all mega star movies.
Read: All issues over release of ‘Kaththi’ resolved, says actor Vijay
The movie is to be released in about 430 screens across the state and advance booking was supposed to begin at 7 am on Tuesday. After a statement from ‘Kaththi’ producers on Monday night claiming that all issues had been cleared and that the movie would release on Deepavali, Tamil groups said they are not aware of any such decision and that they stand by their protest. Soon after the producers had announced the advance bookings for the movie on Monday night, Sathyam Theatres and Woodlands Theatre in the city were attacked by miscreants.
A leading Tamil director said it is the responsibility of the state to give protection for screenings when there are such threats.
When the issue arose in the last week of August 2014, former Madras high court judge Justice K Chandru had told Indian Express that the state cannot plead its inability to handle the hostile audience problem. “It is its obligatory duty to prevent such threats and attacks and protect the freedom of expression. Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected, cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group of people,” he said quoting a Supreme Court order in 1989.