Theatres attacked before 'Kaththi' release; Five arrested

Even as Tamil actor Vijay claimed that all issues concerning his Diwali release 'Kaththi' (Knife) had been resolved, two Chennai cinema theatres, where the film is scheduled to be released, were vandalised by unidentified persons


Amid opposition to the release of Vijay-starrer 'Kaththi' (knife) from some pro-Tamil groups, two cinema theatres here, where the film is scheduled to be released tomorrow, were vandalised by unidentified persons.

Police said five persons were today arrested in connection with the attacks last night.

All the five persons belong to Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (TDPK), they said.

Unidentified persons had pelted stones at Satyam theatre and Woodlands theatre here late last night, damaging property, including glass panes.

The attack was suspected to be the handiwork of Tamil groups opposed to the release of 'Kaththi', which, they allege, was produced by a person close to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Thamizhaga Vaazhvurimai Katchi president Velmurugan told reporters that the producers of the film have accepted to remove the name 'Lyca' from the publicity material and hence they are withdrawing their opposition to the film.

If the name Lyca appeared in the film, they would continue their protests, he added.

Actor Vijay had earlier said all issues had been resolved with the producers heeding demands that their name be removed from the film's publicity material.

"I sincerely thank Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader) Amma (as Jayalalithaa is addressed), who supported the amicable release of the film, Tamil Nadu police, theatre owners and producers who respected Tamils' sentiments to remove their name," he said while extending his Diwali greetings.

Vijay's earlier film 'Thalaiva' had also faced pre-release protests from some fringe groups. His 'Thuppakki' also faced problems over portrayal of a particular community. "This issue has been resolved amicably. So we request the fans and common people who were eagerly awaiting the movie to watch it and enjoy," he said a statement here.

Meanwhile, theatre owners, who met here in the wake of two cinemas here screening the movie being attacked by miscreants last night, said the film will be released tomorrow. 'Kaththi' will be released across 440 screens in the state, R Panneerselvam, a theatre owner, said.

The A R Murugadoss-directed action film had run into rough weather with about 150 groups, under an umbrella organisation spearheaded by T Velmurugan, opposing the movie alleging that producer Lyca Productions were close to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapajksa. Velmurugan continued his strident stand against the movie, alleging that the family of Rajapaksa held shares in Lyca, owned by one London-based Subashkaran Allirajah.

The former PMK leader, whose party Tamizhar Vazhvurimai Katchi is an an ally of ruling AIADMK, however denied that any compromise had been arrived at and said that peaceful protests will continue against the Vijay-starrer.

"Till the time Lyca, in which Rajapakse' family holds shares, ceases to be the producer of the film, our protests will continue in front of all cinema theatres where the film will be released," he said. He however denied the protests were against Vijay or Murugadoss.

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