FIR against The Week magazine for “offensive images” of Shiva and Kali

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Kanpur: Police here filed an FIR against The Week amid a row over objectionable photos of Lord Shiva and the goddess Kali that led to Hindu activists burning copies of the magazine and economist Bibek Debroy shut down her association with him.

Kotwali Police from Kanpur have registered the case against the magazine’s editor and management following a complaint filed on Thursday by former BJP state deputy chairman Prakash Sharma who told them accused of hurting religious feelings.

Bajrang Dal workers on Friday burned copies of the magazine at Bada Chauraha in the city, demanding legal action against the editors of the magazine published in English by the Malayala Manorama group.

Bibek Debroy, who heads the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, ended his association with the publication as a columnist on Thursday over a photo of the goddess Kali tagged to his article in the July 24 edition.

This is the second controversy in recent weeks over the representation of the goddess. Last month, Canadian filmmaker Leena Manimekalai shared a poster from her documentary that showed a woman dressed as Kali smoking a cigarette.

Deputy Police Commissioner (East) Pramod Kumar said a case under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code has been registered in Kanpur. The section deals with deliberate malicious acts intended to outrage religious sentiments.

The DCP said instructions had been given to the investigator to investigate the charges and take appropriate action.

BJP leader Prakash Sharma said the photos published by the magazine outraged Hindu sentiments. The publisher and others responsible for this wrongdoing should be dealt with with an iron fist, he told PTI.

Sharma said he found an objectionable article and images on pages 62 and 63 of the magazine.

Earlier, in his letter to The Week’s editor, Philip Mathew, Debroy said he was ending his association with the magazine because of the illustration that accompanied his column on Kali.

The image was deliberately chosen to titillate and provoke. At least, that’s how I perceive it, he said in the letter, which he also posted on Twitter.

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