PUNE: A professor and five students of the Pune University have been arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by staging a play based on 'Ramleela' that reportedly had objectionable dialogues and scenes, police said on Saturday.
Functionaries of the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and students of the Pune University's Lalit Kala Kendra had entered into a scuffle over the play staged on Friday evening.
The play by the Lalit Kala Kendra, officially called the Centre for Performing Arts, was based on the backstage banter of actors who perform various roles in 'Ramleela'.
Based on a complaint lodged by the ABVP functionary Harshvardhan Harpude, a case was registered under section 295 (A) (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, inspector Ankush Chintaman said.
The police have arrested Dr Pravin Bhole, the head of the department of the Lalit Kala Kendra, and students Bhavesh Patil, Jay Pednekar, Prathamesh Sawant, Rishikesh Dalvi and Yash Chikhle, he said.
As per the first information report (FIR), in the play, a male artiste portraying Sita was shown smoking a cigarette and using abusive language.
The FIR stated that when members of the ABVP took objection to the play and stopped the performance, the artistes started heckling and assaulted them.