An FIR has been filed against a pub in suburban Goregaon for its alleged “blasphemous” interior decor hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community, police said on Thursday. The complaint filed on Wednesday by former corporator Nicholas Almeida termed the “blasphemy an act of insult” that showed lack of reverence to a religion. The pub owner later apologised for having “hurt” religious sentiments, but the complainant appeared in no mood to relent.
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Refusing to accept the apology, Almeida said the law will take its own course and demanded the pub be shut down. A senior police official said a case under section 295(A) of IPC has been registered and an inquiry is underway into the matter. Almeida said this is a message to people that they should not hurt any religious sentiments while doing business. The complainant also said he will visit the civic body office here today to find out how a licence was issued to the pub with such a decor.
However, following the controversy, Riyaz Amlani, CEO of the group that runs the pub, issued a statement saying that the design was meant as a satirical statement against “overt consumerism” and the culture of advertising where people are made to feel inadequate and unhappy unless they buy more and more things.
“In no way was there any intent to disrespect or hurt sentiments that are sacred to any community,” he said in the statement. “We have already removed all the imagery that the watchdog organisation considered offensive, and further commit to ensure that we do all we can to ensure that no one’s sentiments are offended,” Amlani said.
“I once again apologise for any hurt we have caused and accept full responsibility for the same,” he added.