Stop the witch hunt against Mohanlal, says Mammootty

Kochi, Feb 4: Coming out in support of Malayalam actor Mohanlal, who has been receiving flak for a flop stage show in the inaugural ceremony of the 35th National games, co- actor Mammootty today said he should not be dragged into controversies.

"Mohanlal decided to do the programme with good intentions. Do not put pressure on him, allow him to continue with his work with a calm mind", he told reporters here, expressing solidarity with Mohanlal, who has been at the receiving end for the 'Lalisom' show.

Mohanlal and Mammootty

Mohanlal has already informed the government that he would return the Rs 1.63 crore his band 'Lalisom' got for the show during the games inauguration.

The government is expected to take a decision in this regard today. Mamootty, who refused to take any questions, said if the controversy lingers, it would only mar the National Games.

"Mohanlal is our pride. Instead of criticising him, support him. Please stop dragging him into the controversy. Mohanlal is an actor and we accept him because of his prowess in acting. I express my solidarity with Mohanlal as an artist and co-worker," he said.

The stage show was widely perceived as a flop as some performers allegedly bluffed viewers by lip syncing, forcing Mohanlal to make an offer to return the amount he received.

In an e-mail to the government, Mohanlal had said he was "pained" by the controversy and expressed the hope that returning the money would cap the row.

"The government approached me at the last minute and asked me to perform the Lalisom show at the opening ceremony after a musical event that was earlier planned did not take off. For the past three weeks, I and my team have been working hard to bring this on the stage."

The actor had said in his mail that he was 'pained' at the charges levelled against his band and hoped that his returning the money would put an end to all the controversy.


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