Release of Bollywood films postponed by religious court case
The release of two Bollywood films has been postponed amid fears of Muslim-Hindu violence in India following a court ruling on a high-profile religious dispute, the makers have said.
Sajid Nadiadwala said the romantic comedy "Anjaana Anjaani" (Strangers), which was due to hit screens Friday, would be put back to avoid any fall-out from the long-awaited verdict in the Babri Masjid case on the same day.
The thriller "Aakrosh" (Anger) has also been postponed from its scheduled October 1 release date, said producer Kumar Mangat.
Hindu nationalists razed a 16th-century mosque in Ayodhya, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, in 1992, claiming it had been built on the ruins of a temple marking the birthplace of the Hindu warrior god, Ram.
The destruction led to the bloodiest communal violence since the partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947, leaving some 2,000 people dead and a legacy of mistrust between the two religious groups.
A court in northern India is set to rule on Friday which religious group should have ownership of the site.
Nadiadwala told a news conference on Monday evening: "The Ayodhya issue is a very big issue and therefore we decided to postpone the film by one week.
"Our film is a happy film and we felt it will not be appropriate to release the film on a day when such an important judgment is scheduled to come."
"Anjaana Anjaani" is based in the United States starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra while "Aakrosh", with Ajay Devgan and Bipasha Basu, is billed as the first Hindi-language film to tackle the subject of honour killings.
"Aakrosh" will now be released on October 8, Mangat said.
"By postponing the film by one week we will be in a better position to market our film as we will have more time on our hands," he added.
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