Dam 999 banned by TN govt; director plans to move SC

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 Jayalalithaa
Chennai/Kochi, Nov 24: Facing mounting political pressure amid an intensifying row over the Mullaperiyar dam, Tamil Nadu government today banned controversial Hollywood film 'Dam 999', whose director now plans to move the Supreme Court.

The government banned the film on the grounds that it can disturb cordial ties between the state and Kerala and create law and order problem but the director

"The title of the film candidly refers to the Mullaperiyar Dam row (between Tamil Nadu and Kerala). Since it is capable of creating panic among people over the collapse of the dam and divide people of the two states, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has directed banning the screening of the movie," Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, said.

The film could also lead to law and order situation in Tamil Nadu, he said in a detailed statement that followed an earlier terse one-line release from him announcing the ban.

The ban was described as "totally unfortunate" by film director Sohan Roy, who said he planned to approach the Supreme Court against it because he has been given a go ahead by the Censor Board.

"This should not happen to any movie or creative work in India. Such actions will kill creative minds," Roy, who is in Dubai in connection with the film release in UAE, told PTI when contacted from Kochi.

He said 'Dam 999' is a film with a 'social cause', which describes hazards dams can cause and creates awareness among the masses about the impending dangers of a dam collapse if not attended to on time. The ban would send "wrong signals", he said and pointed out there was not a word mentioning 'Mullaiperiyar' or the issue in the film.

The ban on Dam 999, due for November 25 release, comes even as the two states are locked in a war of words over the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam, which Kerala wants brought down to build a new one but is being opposed by Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had yesterday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asking him to advise Kerala not to whip up fear among its people for political mileage as the dam is as "safe and good as new".

PTI

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