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Fri 12 Feb 2010 12:20 PM

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‘My Name is Khan’ to release in Mumbai amid security fears

Bollywood film's red carpet premiere was held in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

‘My Name is Khan’ to release in Mumbai amid security fears
KING KHAN: Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.(Getty Images)

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's new film "My Name is Khan" opens in cinemas across India on Friday but theatre owners in Mumbai were still cagey about its release in the wake of threats by the radical right-winged party Shiv Sena.

The film's


red carpet premiere

was held at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. [


click here to see pictures

]

Shiv Sena members have torn up posters in Mumbai and
warned theatres

against screening the movie on Friday.

Cinema owners in Mumbai have expressed apprehensions over security and were closeted in negotiations with distributors Fox Star Studios till late on Thursday night.

Fox, however, seemed to hold firm.

"There is a huge demand for 'My Name is Khan'. We are releasing it nationally tomorrow," CEO Vijay Singh was quoted as saying in an SMS statement forwarded by the film's publicist.

But cinema owners in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra were not entirely convinced, despite assurances of security from city police officials. A final call on the film's release would be taken on Friday morning.

“We are looking for some sort of a reassurance from the distributors that nothing would happen," a cinema owner, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters.

"Until then, we are not sure if it is prudent to release the film".

"My Name is Khan" stars Shah Rukh Khan as a man with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, who is a victim of racial bias in the US in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The film is one of the most eagerly awaited releases of the year for Bollywood, which is looking to recover from a bad 2009.

Trade analysts say there is at least Rs1.2bn ($26m) riding on the film and if the Mumbai-Maharashtra circuit is affected, it would affect almost 25 percent of the film's cinema revenues in India. (Reuters)