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FIR against ‘Tandav’ lodged in Lucknow

Poster of the web series 'Tandav'

An FIR has been lodged against Ali Abbas Jafar and Gaurav Solanki, the director and writer of the web series Tandav respectively, for allegedly depicting Hindu gods in a bad light "which could lead to religious flare-ups". Lodged at the Hazratganj police station late on Sunday night by Senior Sub-Inspector Amarnath Yadav, also named Amazon Prime's India head of original content Aparna Purohit, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra and another unnamed person.

Earlier on Sunday, after Bharatiya Janata Party MP, Manoj Kotak, wrote to the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar seeking a ban on the series, the Ministry summoned Amazon Prime Video officials. In his letter the legislator said that the platform often showed Hindu deities in a bad light. He added that the producers, directors and actors should apologise for hurting public sentiments. He had also sent a legal notice to the platform to remove the series, failing which legal proceedings will be initiated.

"A police team from Hazratganj will leave for Mumbai to investigate and interrogate those named in the FIR on Monday," said Deputy Commissioner of Police, central zone, Somen Barma.

Those named in the FIR have been booked for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, makes destruction, damage, or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred; forgery for purpose of harming reputation, statements conducing to public mischief, with intent to threaten the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India, or to strike terror in the people or any section of the people.

The FIR says that there are angry outbursts on social media against the content of the web series which was released on January 16 and people are posting its clippings.

"After watching the series, it was found that in the 17th minute of Episode 1, characters playing Hindu gods and goddesses have been shown in an uncharitable way and using undignified language, which can trigger religious sentiments," the complainant said. "Similarly, in the 22nd minute of the same episode, efforts have been made to ignite caste clashes. The person holding a dignified post like that of Prime Minister has been shown in a very derogatory manner throughout the web series," the FIR further stated.

The web series has tried to destroy the social fabric of the country and create tension, Yadav has said in his FIR.

Featuring an array actors, the cast includes Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia, Gauahar Khan, Anup Soni, Sunil Grover, Zeeshan Ayyub, Kirtika Kamra, Sarah Jane Dias, Dino Morea among others, and directed and produced by Ali Abbas Zafar and Himanshu Kishan Mehra and penned by Gaurav Solanki.

(With inputs from IANS)