Hindi film crew arrested for hurting religious sentiments

Published 05 December 2011  |  
The Mumbai Police last week arrested the director, producer and publicist of Hindi movie "Who's There" for provocative posters that showed the picture of Jesus Christ on the cross being stabbed by a man.

The three were arrested on charges ranging from hurting religious sentiments, malicious common intention to insulting religious beliefs and for violations of the Cinematograph Act.

Christian groups last month had raised objections to the movie's posters as well as its anti-Christian contents, and had registered a complaint with the Censor Board.

"Conviction of the accused should not be difficult as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Film Makers Combine and the Indian Motion Pictures Association (IMPPA) had in their statement to the police said that the offensive advertisements of stabbing Jesus Christ on the Cross were unauthorised," said Joseph Dias, the head of Mumbai-based Christian group Catholic Secular Forum.

"Christian groups had demanded the arrest of the movie makers since they released posters with the caption 'This Time Evil will Win', accompanying the blasphemous picture of Jesus and another one with the cross of Jesus upside down," said Dias.

"Not mentioning the category of certification (UA) in the publicity material violates Rule 38 of Cinematograph (Certification) Rules 1983. Non compliance of this rule is a non-bailable offence," informed Dias.

The film, which is scheduled for release on November 18, has been categorized as a horror film.

Earlier, in a letter to the Censor Board of Film Certification, the film's producer Wasim Shaikh apologised and said the team was "taking back the said design from all newspapers and streets".

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