Controversy puts an end to Aurangazeb exhibition

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Chennai, Mar 7 (UNI) Curtains came down abruptly on an exhibition, depicting the life history of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb, at the Lalit Kala Akademi here in the wake of some Muslim outfits and Hindu organisations failing to see eye to eye on some of the portraits on display.

The trouble started when some Muslim organisations and Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali took up cudgels against some portraits, claiming it would disturb peace in the State and demanded the expo 'Aurangazeb as he was according to Mughal records' be cancelled.

Jumping to the defence of the exhibition of paintings by French artist Francois Gautier, a few Hindu outfits opposed any move to cancel the show, contending that ''only historical facts'' were on display.

Police provided tight security on the premises, with the two groups unrelenting.

Fearing that the exhibition could whip up communal passions, the city police and Akademi Regional Secretary R M Palaniappan ended the expo, which began fours days ago, abruptly, three days ahead of schedule.

Police also detained three women associated with the exhibition - Saraswathi (65), Dr Vijayalakshmi (62) and Malathi (47) - for half an hour for inquiry.

Hindu Munnani leader Rama Gopalan and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Working President S Vedantam condemned the police action at the exhibition, organised by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT).

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