Ban for India 'affair' actress Nikhita Thukral reversed

Nikhita Thukral and Darshan (Photo: K Venkatesh) Nikhita Thukral denies any romantic links with Darshan (Photo: K Venkatesh)

The ban on Indian actress Nikhita Thukral from Kannada language films, because of an alleged affair with another actor, has been overturned.

The Kannada Film Producers' Association imposed the three-year ban earlier this week, saying Ms Thukral had spoiled the "domestic harmony of a fellow actor".

But opposition within the film industry convinced producers to reverse the ban.

Ms Thukral denies having an affair with the actor, known as Darshan, a popular action hero in south India.

"Looking back it was a hasty decision. We have written to her expressing regret," the president of the Karnataka Film Producers' Association, Munirathnam, told reporters.

The association initially said the ban would be reconsidered only if she apologised but Ms Thukral refused, insisting she had had no inappropriate relationship with Darshan.

'Unprofessional'

Ms Thukral, who is from the state of Punjab and has acted in several Telugu, Tamil and Kannada language films, called the ban "ridiculous" when it was imposed, and said that nobody ever consulted her to get her version of events.

Many actors and film industry representatives called for the ban to be overturned, saying it was unprofessional.

"I welcome the decision to withdraw the ban. In the first place it was wrong to target the actress for a dispute in the actor's home," said producer Sandesh Nagaraj.

The ban was imposed after Darshan was arrested on charges of domestic violence last week, following a complaint from his wife, Vijaylakshmi.

She alleged that he had beaten her and threatened her with a gun but she later withdrew the complaint, a police official told the BBC. The argument was reportedly over the alleged affair with Ms Thukral.

After his arrest, hundreds of Darshan's fans held protests in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state. Police used canes to disperse stone-throwing groups.

Ms Thukral has consistently denied any romantic links with Darshan.

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