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M.P. police register FIR against 2 Netflix officials

Some scenes in a web series have allegedly hurt religious sentiments

November 24, 2020 01:23 am | Updated 01:23 am IST - Bhopal/ Indore

An FIR was registered in Madhya Pradesh on Monday against two executives of OTT platform Netflix for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through its web series A Suitable Boy which showed kissing scenes purportedly on the campus of a temple, an official said.

The FIR has named Monika Shergill, Vice President, Content (Netflix) and Ambika Khurana, Director, Public Policies (Netflix), Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said.

Meanwhile, Khargone Collector Anugraha P. said the controversial scenes do not appear to have been filmed inside a temple in Maheshwar town in the district.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Shergill and Ms. Khurana were booked by Rewa police on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha national secretary Gaurav Tiwari who demanded an apology from Netflix and the makers of the series, and removal of “objectionable scenes”, which he said were also “encouraging love jihad”.

“I had asked officials to examine the series A Suitable Boy being streamed on Netflix to check if the scenes were filmed inside a temple and if it hurt religious sentiments. The examination prima facie found that these scenes are hurting the sentiments of a particular religion,” Mr. Mishra said in a video statement.

“On the basis of a complaint, an FIR is being registered under section 295 (A) (malicious acts to outrage and insulting the religious feelings and beliefs) of the IPC,” he added.

Rewa Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kumar Singh said the FIR has been registered and further investigation is under way.

On Saturday, Mr. Tiwari had submitted a memorandum to the Rewa SP demanding an apology from Netflix and makers of the series, and removal of “objectionable scenes”. “Scenes (filmed) inside a temple of Lord Maheshwar (a historic town located on the banks of Narmada in Madhya Pradesh) have hurt the sentiments of Hindus. This is also encouraging ‘love jihad’,” Mr. Tiwari had said.

He had named Ms. Shergill and Ms. Khurana in his complaint application.

‘No formal complaint’

“We have not received any formal complaint so far regarding the controversy surrounding the Netflix series. But taking cognisance of media reports, I sent a Sub-Divisional Magistrate and tehsildar to the spot at Maheshwar. We have inspected the fort complex where the web series was shot. There are also temples in the huge fort complex on the banks of the Narmada river at Maheshwar. But according to the SDM report, at first glance, it seems the controversial scenes were not filmed inside the temple. Probably these scenes were shot somewhere else in the fort complex,” the Collector said. She said a committee will be constituted to probe the matter in detail if the government orders so. She said the district administration had allowed the shooting of A Suitable Boy in Maheshwar during December last year.

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