‘Code’ banned in 5 Indian states

Pic pulled due to fears of religious unrest

“The Da Vinci Code,” which opened to packed houses here May 26 and netted 30 million rupees ($648,000) in its opening weekend in India, has been banned by five Indian states.

Meghalaya, Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu said Thursday they would not allow the screening of director Ron Howard’s controversial film, due to fears of religious unrest.

“The screening of the film may lead to demonstrations and disturb peace in the state,” the Tamil Nadu administration said in a statement.

Tamil Nadu, with a population of 57 million — many of them Christians — imposed the ban after two Christian groups staged noisy protests in the capital Chennai on Wednesday.

The Christian-majority state of Meghalaya followed suit, banning the public screening and private viewing of the film after a request by church leaders.

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh, where the film was to open today, also ordered a ban on the film after protests by Christians.

Punjab and Nagaland had earlier in the week banned the film, which premiered in several of India’s 29 states last Friday.

India’s federal government allowed the film to run for adult viewing without any cuts, but with disclaimers at the beginning and end saying it is a work of fiction.

Christians make up less than 2% of India’s 1.1 billion population.

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