Dam row bursts: Jayalalithaa fumes, film banned

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 24, 2011 16:34 IST

Tamil Nadu government on Thursday banned Hollywood film Dam 999 that was up for a Friday release following wide spread protests against the content of the film that is perceived to be against the stand of the state in the politico-legal case against Kerala on the Mullaperiyar dam.

In a letter to the prime minister, copies of which were released to the media in Chennai, Jayalalithaa requested Manmohan Singh to "advise the Government of Kerala not to venture upon a new dam as the present dam is functioning well and also since the whole issue is sub-judice before the Hon'ble Supreme Court and the Empowered Committee; not to whip up fear and panic among the people to gain political mileage".

"The Government of Kerala seems to be intent on whipping up a fear psychosis and panic among the people of Kerala and to influence the Empowered Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court of India, by submitting a report based on fear perception rather than facts," the letter notes.

Tamil Nadu political parties, cutting across party lines, had on Wednesday sought a ban on the film, produced by a Malayali businessman from Dubai, that allegedly toes the Kerala line on the Mullaperiyar dam issue, now pending before the Supreme Court. While Kerala wants to dismantle the present dam as it has outlived its utility, Tamil Nadu wants to strengthen the existing dam and raise its height.

Trouble was sparked off in Tamil Nadu after activists of political parties staged protests and warned of dire consequences if the film was released. DMK patriarch M Karnunanidhi too urged chief minister J Jayalalithaa to get the centre to ban the film.

On Thursday, chief minister Jayalalithaa sanctioned a ban on the film, whose release was put off following a decision by theatre owners not to screen it given the anti-Tamil Nadu interests given prominence in the movie.

According to an official communication issued by state chief secretary, "Tamil Nadu government has banned the screening of the movie DAM 999 with immediate effect."


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