The Madras High Court on Friday issued an interim order directing Chennai Police not to arrest Sarkar director AR Murugadoss till November 27, reports said, after the filmmaker moved an anticipatory bail application. The movie, starring actor Vijay, was released on Wednesday and has been mired in controversy after protestors demanded that certain scenes be removed.

The film’s production team on Thursday agreed to remove the scenes after workers of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam protested outside movie theatres in Madurai, Chennai and Coimbatore. Protestors also tore up the movie’s posters.

The agitation continued on Friday as party cadre tore down banners of the movie outside a theatre in Salem. While the police have filed cases against 25 persons in Thanjavur, at least 18 cases have been filed under Section 4 of Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement Act) in Nagapattinam district.

The edited version of the movie will be screened from 2.30 pm on Friday, West Zone Theatre Owners’ Association President M Subramaniam told PTI. The association on Thursday held discussions with Sun Pictures and the film’s Tamil Nadu distributor and told them the movie will not be screened with objectionable scenes.

In scenes during a song, people are shown throwing mixer grinders and wet grinders gifted by the government into a fire. Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa used to provide such items free of cost in line with an electoral promise made in 2011. Several politicians have sought legal action against the film’s crew and cast, claiming the scenes were an effort to malign Jayalalithaa’s image. “Why unnecessarily make such references?” asked Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar. “It shows vendetta and an attempt at maligning [Jayalalithaa].”

What was edited

“Following a letter [of approval] from the Censor Board [Central Board of Film Certification], we will start screening the edited version tomorrow [Friday] from the matinee show [2.30 pm],” Subramaniam said, adding that a part of the name of a woman character apparently referring to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will be “muted”. The villain in the movie is a character named Komalavalli, which was purportedly Jayalalithaa’s real name.

The makers have also agreed to mute the words “podhuppanithurai”, or public works department, and “56 varusham [years]” in some dialogues.