'Rang De Basanti' gets animal board clearance

Jan 15, 2006 IANS

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) Saturday gave a green signal to Aamir Khan's controversy-ridden film "Rang De Basanti".

The clearance came after film producer Ronnie Screwvala apologised to the board for "misleading" AWBI regarding the shooting of animals in the film. Screwvala reportedly promised not to "repeat the mistake".

Now the movie can be released with the deletion of an objectionable scene of 20 seconds.

The meeting was attended Saturday by board chairman J.C. Kala, member Maneka Gandhi and Uttaranchal Principal Secretary Rajeev Gupta. They reviewed the film and found "nothing objectionable" that harmed animals, except in one shot.

On Thursday Gandhi had said the producers had used animals in their film without the permission of the AWBI.

"Two months back they were sent a notice regarding the issue but they didn't take our permission and got a go-ahead from the censor board," Gandhi had told IANS.

The film, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and featuring Aamir Khan and Soha Ali Khan in the lead roles, was in the middle of another controversy earlier this week over its depiction of crashes of air force jets.

A special viewing was then organised for the top brass of the armed forces and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and finally a go-ahead was received.

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