The screening of Mani Ratnam's Raavan has resumed in eastern Sri Lanka despite threats by an unidentified group demanding the boycott of the bilingual film, starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.
A cinema hall planning to screen Raavan was torched last week by the group, which is protesting Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya and director Ratnam's decision to stay away from the IIFA awards held in Colombo after South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce called for a boycott of the event.
But the National Film Corporation here said theatres in Batticaloa resumed screening Raavan despite the warning by the group, which has asked the theatre owners not to screen films produced in Tamil Nadu in a move to hit back at Indian film stars who boycotted the IIFA awards ceremony in Colombo.
The show was stopped after a giant screen at the Shanthi Cinema in Batticaloa was torched a day before the Tamil version of Raavan was to be shown.
The group had sent hand bills to cinema owners, saying that the boycott of the IIFA event by Indian artistes had brought disrepute to Sri Lanka and therefore retaliation was just and appropriate.
However, a film corporation official said necessary precautions have been taken to prevent a repetition of such incidents, the Daily Mirror reported today.
"The group, which threatened the cinema owners in Batticaloa, has been arrested after we intervened in the matter," the Film Corporation official said.
"When the incident occurred, I informed the Kathankudi police (in Batticaloa) and Film Corporation about what happened," the manager Kandasamy Murugesu said.
Amitabh Bachchan, son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya, had given the glitzy event a miss, citing work commitments. The Bachchan family's decision to skip the event had raised many eyebrows as the mega star is the ambassador for IIFA.
The event was boycotted by the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce as a mark of protest against the alleged mistreatment of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
The film industry in the state of Tamil Nadu, which shares close cultural and religious links with the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, stayed away from the event with superstars Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth and Ratnam also giving it a miss.