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Now Lamhaa is banned in Gulf.

TWO Hindi films opening this Friday have hit the headlines for an unwanted reason. They have been banned in some foreign countries.

Rahul Dholakia's Lamhaa , a thriller based on terrorism in Kashmir, has been barred from screening in five Gulf countries -- United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. This comes a day after debutant director Abhishek Sharma's Tere Bin Laden was not cleared for release by the Pakistan censor board.

Lamhaa was due for release in West Asia on Thursday, but has now been banned over what is deemed as ' objectionable and controversial subject matter'. Dholakia said that Lamhaa distributors, PVR Pictures, are in talks with the censor boards of the five countries in a bid to reverse the decision.

On Tere Bin Laden , it is believed that the Pakistani censor board decided to ban the film two days before release on grounds that Islamic extremists could use the screening of the film as a pretext for violence. The film is a satire featuring a lookalike of Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden as a central character.

Pakistani Censor Board vice chairman Masood Elahi has reportedly said that " there is no justification for releasing the film in Pakistan under the present circumstances". Lamhaa was set to be premiered in Kashmir, but plans were cancelled at the last minute due to the fresh spurt of violence in the Valley.

" What happened to freedom of expression?... Ban on honest film? Sadly, people of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and UAE won't be able to watch our film," tweeted Bipasha Basu, the film's leading lady.

With inputs from agencies

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jul 16, 2010
Words:282
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