Pro-Kannada groups have called off plans to disrupt the release of Tamil superstar Rajnikanth's new film Kuselan in Karnataka after the actor expressed regret over a remark he made on the Hogenakkal row.
The film is scheduled for release on Friday.
Earlier in the day, members of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike assembled at Karntaka Film Chamber of Commerce and demanded Rajnikanth's apology and announced they would not allow the release of the film unless he apologised.
"By expressing his regret, Rajnikanth has showed his greatness. We no longer oppose the release," KRV president Narayana Gowda said.
"It is going to be a smooth screening for Kuselan," said V S Suresh, vice president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. "The matter has been resolved," he told PTI.
Rajnikanth told Kannada channels in Hyderabad his comment 'kick them' made during the Hogenakkal row was targeted at lumpen elements and stressed he was not at all referring to Kannadigas and pro-Kannada organisations fighting for the cause of the language.
Expressing regret, he said: "It was a mistake. I have learnt a big lesson. What's important is that the mistake is not repeated. I will be careful while speaking in future and see that I don't hurt anybody."
Rajnikanth said he bows before good people, but insisted he would not apologise to 'goondas' (anti-social elements). He also gave a clean chit to a few people, including Vedike chief Shivarame Gowda saying they are fighting for the cause of Kannada and he was with them.
Meanwhile, cinema houses in the city geared up to release the film.
"The matter has been resolved and we will screen the film on Friday. There has been a lot of interest and enquiries that have poured in," said Mohit Bhargav, Regional GM of Inox Bangalore.
Ahead of the film's release on Friday, police made elaborate arrangements to prevent untoward incidents.
"We have made elaborate security arrangements," Additional Commissioner of Police M R Pujar told PTI.
Rajnikanth's regret followed a dharna by some pro-Kannada groups in Bangalore on Thursday, asking the actor to tender an unconditional apology for 'hurting the sentiments of Kannadigas' on the Hogenakkal issue.
The activists said Rajnikanth used 'indecent language' during the height of the row over Hogenakkal project, which was aimed at providing drinking water from the Cauvery to border districts of Tamil Nadu.
While pro-Kannada groups staged protests against the project in Karnataka, the Tamil film industry organised a 'solidarity meet' for implementation of the scheme in which Rajnikanth spoke in favour of the project.