Punjab bans The Da Vinci Code

None | ByReuters, Chandigarh
May 26, 2006 01:03 PM IST

Punjab banned the release of the controversial movie 'The Da Vinci Code', fearing violence by christians opposed to the film.

Punjab banned the release of the controversial movie

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The Da Vinci Code

, fearing violence by Christians opposed to the film, officials said on Friday.

"State intelligence has reported the likelihood of violence in some parts of the state following the release of the movie," Punjab Home Secretary BC Gupta said.

Earlier this week, the mainly Christian state of Nagaland in the remote northeast banned the best-selling book on which the movie is based, saying the novel was an "affront" to the Christian faith.

It also banned Video Compact Discs and Digital Video Discs of the movie from circulating in the state.

The central government in New Delhi last week allowed the screening of the film but with a disclaimer saying it was a work of fiction. The movie is set for release in India on Friday.

The Da Vinci Code is based on a best-selling novel which claims Jesus married his female disciple Mary Magdalene and had a child with her. This has angered devout Christians.

In Punjab, India's only Sikh-majority state of 25 million people with a tiny Christian minority of 1.2 per cent, Catholic leaders had pressed for a ban on the movie.

"The ban has been imposed to prevent hurting the sentiments of certain people," Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said.

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