FIRs filed in UP and Delhi against 'Kaali' filmmaker Leena Manimekalai for 'hurting' religious sentiments

An FIR was registered against the filmmaker on charges of criminal conspiracy, offence in the place of worship and deliberately hurting religious sentiments.
Poet and filmmaker Leena Manimekalai. (Photo | Special Arrangement)
Poet and filmmaker Leena Manimekalai. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged an FIR against director Leena Manimekalai for deliberately hurting religious sentiments by tweeting a poster of her new documentary film 'Kaali', where a woman dressed as the Goddess is shown smoking a cigarette.

An FIR was registered on July 4 at Hazratganj Police Station on charges of criminal conspiracy, offence in the place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments and intention to provoke breach of peace against the filmmaker.

The FIR has been lodged under Sections, 120-B, 153-B, 295, 295-A, 298, 504, 505(1)(b), 505(2), 66 and 67 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Delhi Police IFSO unit has filed the FIR under IPC sections 153A and 295A.

Earlier, a lawyer from Delhi, Vineet Jindal, registered a complaint against the filmmaker over the controversial poster, demanding a ban on the objectionable photo and the clip from the documentary showcased at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada.

According to Jindal, a woman dressed as Goddess Kaali smoking a cigarette, is "hurting the sentiments and beliefs of the Hindu community." Gau Mahasabha Member Ajay Gautam has also filed a complaint against Leena.

The poster of the documentary, shared on social media by the Madurai-born filmmaker depicts a woman dressed in a costume portraying the goddess and smoking a cigarette. A flag of the LGBT community is seen in the background. There was an uproar on social media for hurting religious sentiments with the depiction of Goddess Kaali.

After facing flak over her poster, Leena took to Twitter and defended herself and urged people to choose "love over hate." Amid the negative feedback, she tweeted, "The film revolves around the events that take place one evening, when Kali appears and strolls the streets of Toronto. If you see the picture, don't put the hashtag "arrest Leena manimekalai" and put the hashtag 'love you Leena manimekalai.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commission on Monday urged Canadian authorities to withdraw the disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods showcased as part of the 'Under the Tent' project at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.

"We urge the Canadian authorities and the event organizers to withdraw all such provocative material," read Indian High Commission in Canada press release.

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The New Indian Express