Malayalam film superstar Mohanlal finally gave in to pressure from several quarters on Wednesday and decided to call off his proposed stunt scheduled on Sunday in Thiruvananthapuram.
Mohanlal was to perform the act called 'Burning Illusion' ahead of a four-day international magicians meet, beginning in the state capital Thiruvananthapuram May 1.
The superstar, who is shooting for his latest film in Palakkad, is reported to have got several calls urging him to withdraw because of the risks involved. He was also taken aback when some of his overenthusiastic fans threatened to commit suicide if he decided to go ahead with the stunt.
Speaking to IANS, MB Sanil Kumara, a close aide of the superstar, said the final decision has been taken. "Since the programme also involved the state tourism department, an official announcement will be made soon," said Kumar.
Mohanlal has been training for the stunt under the guidance of Gopinath Muthukad, the head of the Magic Academy here, for the last 18 months and says he is doing it to motivate the Kerala youth.
Muthukad called the decision unfortunate as months of hard work has gone waste.
"This happened due to the enormous pressure from various quarters. A scare was raised but it was nothing but a mere entertainment programme. Mohanlal, doing rehearsals, had done it (the stunt) well and there was no risk involved as it was being propagated," said Muthukad.
Earlier, president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) and veteran film actor Innocent told reporters that Mohanlal's well wishers, his family, friends and fellow artistes are worried about his safety.
"I spoke to him and he said if he withdraws now it would be considered as an act of cowardice. There is certainly an element of risk in this (act). As the president (of the association) and in my personal opinion, ,he should withdraw. If not, we will take action against him," said Innocent.
Meanwhile, Mohanlal Fans Association representatives also urged the actor not to perform the stunt as it could be risky.
The actor's decision to perform the stunt has also split the magician community here. A well- known magician, Samrat, was arrested Tuesday when he began a hunger strike to dissuade Mohanlal from performing.