Two more members of the jury, which had approved the screening of Malayalam film 'S Durga' and Marathi movie 'Nude' in the Indian Panorama section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), resigned from the selection panel on Wednesday.
The resignations of scriptwriter Apurva Asrani and filmmaker Gyan Correa from the 13-member selection panel deepened the row over de-listing of the two films by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Their resignations come a day after filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh quit as the head of the jury.
"I stand with the chairman of the jury (Sujoy Ghosh). We had a responsibility towards some very sincere films, and somewhere we have failed them. My conscience won't allow me to participate in the festivities in Goa," Asrani stated.
Director of 'S Durga,' Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, broke the news about Correa's resignation.
"I came to know that filmmaker Gyan Correa, who is also a jury member in IFFI, resigned! Rays of hope in the dark times!" he posted on Facebook.
At a time when Sasidharan has moved the Kerala High Court seeking relief, a source in the ministry said that it was well within the powers of the government to drop films from the list.
The source cited stipulations in the policy for certification of films for film festivals to justify the ministry's action.
"In exceptional cases, the ministry will have powers to reject, for reasons to be recorded in writing, the request for exemption to any film/films if, in its opinion, it would impinge on the security or integrity of the country or affect law and order or affect relations with other countries," Clause 2 (iii) of the policy stipulates.
While the ministry is yet to come up with an official clarification, the source said 'S Durga' was dropped from the list to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
The ministry apparently received "several grievances" against the two movies.
On 'Nude', the source said the movie was "technically" incomplete as "certain post-production work" was yet to be completed by the filmmaker.