Highlights

  • Professor, 5 students held over Ramleela play
  • All booked for hurting religious sentiments
  • Actor playing Sita smoked on stage

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Pune university: Five students, professor, get bail after row over Ramleela play

A professor and five university students were released on bail after they got arrested for hurting religious sentiments over the controversial portrayal of Sita

Pune university: Five students, professor, get bail after row over Ramleela play

Five students and a professor of Savitribai Phule Pune University were arrested and then released on bail on February 3 for staging a play based on Ramleela, after it was deemed objectionable.

The play reportedly had some abusive dialogues and showed a male artist portraying Sita smoking a cigarette. A clip of the play had also gone viral on social media.

Dr Pravin Bhole, head of the department of the Lalit Kala Kendra, and students Bhavesh Patil, Jay Pednekar, Prathamesh Sawant, Rishikesh Dalvi and Yash Chikhle were produced in court and later released on bail, PTI news agency reported quoting police.

The complaint was made by a member of RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Friday, claiming that the play hurt religious sentiments. It was also claimed that when the complainant raised objections, they were manhandled and attacked by the actors and students.

They were booked 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.

The police have arrested the head of the department of the Lalit Kala Kendra, Dr Pravin Bhole, and students Bhavesh Patil, Jay Pednekar, Prathamesh Sawant, Rishikesh Dalvi and Yash Chikhle in connection with the incident, reports PTI news agency.

Meanwile, the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) administration in a statement said it did not support the mockery of icons and said it apologises if sentiments were hurt.

The SPPU has formed a 'fact finding committee' headed by a retired district judge to inquire into the incident and action will be taken once its report is received, the statement added.

(With PTI inputs)

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