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India Puts on Hold on 'Da Vinci Code'

The Indian government on Tuesday put a temporary hold on the release of 'The Da Vinci Code' in India, saying it must address concerns raised by some groups before the film is screened at cinemas.
( [email protected] ) May 16, 2006 12:25 PM EDT

BOMBAY, India (AP) - The Indian government on Tuesday put a temporary hold on the release of "The Da Vinci Code" in India — although the national censor board has cleared the movie — saying it must address concerns raised by some groups before the film is screened at cinemas.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi said he had received more than 200 complaints and has asked for a special screening of the movie.

"We are a secular country. On any sensitive issue, we should take action after we examine every aspect," Dasmunshi told reporters. "We have to be careful."

The release of the movie, scheduled for this Friday, "may be delayed by a day or two," he said.

Like the best-selling novel on which it is based, the fictional movie's plot centers on the contention that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, with whom he bore children — a premise that has led senior Vatican officials to call the story offensive and urge a boycott.

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