Amazon Prime Video’s India Originals head Aparna Purohit yesterday recorded her statement before the police in Lucknow in connection with an FIR lodged against her and others over the alleged derogatory depiction of Hindu deities in the web series Tandav at Hazratganj police station here on 17 January.
The inspector in-charge of Hazratganj police station Shyam Babu Shukla confirmed that Purohit had visited the police station to record her statement. He said the investigation officer, additional inspector AK Singh, had recorded her statement for around four hours, during which he asked several questions related to the case.
Shukla said she could be called again, if required, for questioning. He, however, refused to share any details about the statement given by her
Earlier this month, the Allahabad High Court had ordered that no coercive action should be taken against Purohit in the case. It asked her and the other accused to get their statements recorded. Other than Purohit, the web series director Ali Abbas, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra, writer Gaurav Solanki and an unidentified person were named in the FIR.
The nine-episode political thriller, starring Bollywood A-listers Saif Ali Khan, Dimple Kapadia and Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, started streaming on the platform in January. In a scene in the first episode of Tandav, the character played by Ayyub and a sidekick mock Lord Shiva while elsewhere in the episode Muslims are projected as a persecuted lot.
There is allegedly an attempt in Tandav to garner sympathy for the communist unions of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. The JNU is named “VNU” in the web series. Ayyub and others, shown as victims of Delhi Police, essay roles of students of the VNU.
In Uttar Pradesh, FIRs have been registered against the show in Greater Noida and Shahjahanpur, besides Lucknow.
Earlier, Yogi Adityanath said that his government would take strict action against filmmakers who insult the Hindu religion and hurt their sentiments in the name of entertainment. Issuing a stern warning against the makers of the controversial Amazon web series Tandav, Yogi said that he was anguished by the way Hindus were insulted in the show. The chief minister said his government was strict on those who insult Hindus for entertainment.
Yogi said the makers of Tandav and Amazon’s India content head would have to “pay a price for hurting religious sentiments” by depicting Hindu gods in an objectionable manner.