Pune University: 5 Students & Professor Arrested Over Ramlila Controversy Involving Depictions of Maa Sita and Ravan

In Pune’s Savitribai Phule University’s Fine Arts Center, a performance titled ‘Behind the Screen: Life of the Actors Playing Ramlila’ was scheduled, but during the performance, heated arguments erupted among the students belonging to the All India Students’ Council and the Drama Club. The ABVP alleges that the play contains highly objectionable dialogues and scenes involving Maa Sita.

As the controversy escalated, the matter reached the police. Subsequently, a professor and 5 students from the university were arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by performing a play based on Ramlila, aiming to portray religious sentiments in a derogatory manner.

During the play, the student playing the role of Sita was lighting a cigarette, while the student playing the role of Lakshmana was swearing.

Allegations of Misconduct during the Ramlila-themed Play at Savitribai Phule University, Pune

According to the FIR, during the play, portraying the character of Sita, a student was shown smoking cigarettes and using profane language on stage. When ABVP members present in the audience protested against the play and halted the performance, the actors began to retaliate. The actors argued that their backstage humor was based on the comedic aspects of various roles in Ramlila.

Legal Action Initiated for Alleged Religious Insensitivity

Sub-Inspector Ankush Chintaman informed that based on the complaint filed by ABVP official Harshvardhan Harpude, a case has been registered under Section 295 (A) of the Indian Penal Code. This section pertains to intentionally hurting religious sentiments, with malicious intent, or through contaminated intentions and other related provisions. Those arrested in connection with the case include Dr. Praveen Bhole, the head of the Lalit Kala Kendra, along with students Bhavesh Patil, Jay Pednekar, Prathamesh Sawant, Hrishikesh Dalvi, and Yash Chikhalne.

Niyati Rao

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