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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 08:15 GMT 09:15 UK
Da Vinci Code ban in India state
Copies of The Da Vinci Code
Christians say the film is blasphemous
The government of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has banned the release of the Hollywood film The Da Vinci Code, an official statement said.

The decision to ban the film followed appeals from local Christian leaders who felt that the film might hurt the community's religious sentiments.

Tamil Nadu is the fourth Indian state that has banned the screening of the film, which was released last week.

The film is based on the best-selling book by Dan Brown.

A statement issued by the Tamil Nadu government said the release of the film, which portrays Jesus as a married man, might "lead to demonstrations and disrupt peace and tranquillity" in the state.

Christians comprise 6.1% of Tamil Nadu's 63 million people.

The movie has faced stiff opposition from the Christian community with some Catholic groups asking for a ban on its release.

The states of Nagaland, Punjab and Goa have already banned the film.

The movie opened in India to a mixed reception last week.


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