The proposed formal tripartite meeting to break the deadlock over the screening of Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu failed to take off on Friday as Muslim outfits reportedly insisted on the presence of the actor-filmmaker during the parleys.
Some representatives of the outfits, Chandra Haasan, brother of the actor, and home secretary R Rajagopal met informally earlier in the day to prepare the ground for talks, a day after chief minister Jayalalithaa offered that her government would broker peace between Muslim groups and Kamal.
But there was no sign of any meeting in the evening nor any official word on it.
Mohammed Hanifa of the Federation of Tamil Nadu Muslims Social and Political Organisations had said earlier that they were ready for talks and had given it in writing to the government.
"We want a settlement on the issue. We are confident our demands will be accepted and the film be released," he said.
Hanifa declined to comment on reports that they had sought Kamal's presence during the meeting.
Breaking her week-long silence on the government's decision to ban the movie that stirred a national controversy, Jayalalithaa had on Thursday offered to facilitate an amicable settlement if Kamal and the Muslim groups came together.
"If Muslim organisations and Kamal Haasan are ready to sit down and work out an amicable agreement, if he agrees to delete certain portions that are objectionable, then the decks would be cleared for screening of the movie, then Tamil Nadu government will do that to facilitate such an amicable settlement," she had said.
Film personalities have welcomed Jayalalithaa's initiative to facilitate resolution of the crisis arising out of the ban on the Rs. 100 crore movie, made in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and earlier scheduled for a release on January 25.
Kamal had last Tuesday secured interim relief from a single judge who had allowed its release, but a division bench set it aside. The matter will come up for hearing on February 6.
Meanwhile, a PIL was filed in Madras high court on Friday, seeking a direction to authorities to ban public exhibition of the movie in in its present form across India, unless edited.
Advocate C Jebakumar George, in his PIL, submitted he had watched the film in Thiruvananthapuram and found many scenes 'very violent' and 'derogative' of religions and races.