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Indian authorities block controversial assassination film

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Aug 22, 2014 | 8:32am EDT

Officials at the Indian film authority have halted the release of a movie based on the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi due to fears of unrest. Kaum De Heere, or Diamonds of the Community, tells the story of Gandhi's political run and focuses on the two bodyguards who killed her in 1984 and the violent riots that followed. The film was originally approved by members of the Indian film classification board but the decision was reviewed after a number of politicians expressed their concern about its release, which was scheduled for Friday (22Aug14). The panel ruled the movie can not be screened because it glorifies the killers and could spark protests. Board chief Leela Samson says, "We saw the film and decided it could not be released as it was due to fears that it would lead to disruption of public order... The film is double trouble. It glorifies Indira Gandhi's assassins who took the law into their own hands and it glorifies the hanging of the two men." Director Ravinder Ravi defends his film, telling India's The Hindu newspaper, "All that I am doing is telling a human story about two families that is neither political nor aimed at creating trouble." The chief executive of the board, Rakesh Kumar, was arrested on Tuesday (19Aug14) for accepting bribes to approve Bollywood movies. Kumar revealed that Kaum De Heere was one of the films in question but Ravi denies the allegation. Gandhi's two bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh carried out the assassination. Beant was killed by police shortly after the murder and Stawant was hanged for the crime in 1989.

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