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Kaali poster row: Delhi, UP police file FIRs against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai

Independent filmmaker Leena Manimekalai drew flak online days after she tweeted the poster of her latest documentary Kaali.

The Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police registered FIRs against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai on Tuesday for “hurting religious sentiment” with the poster of her new documentary film Kaali.

Delhi police stated that its IFSO unit filed an FIR under IPC sections 153A and 295A regarding the controversial poster pertaining to the film Kaali. The UP police filed the FIR on charges of criminal conspiracy, offense in place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments, and intention to provoke breach of peace against the filmmaker for the disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods.

The High Commission of India in Ottawa issued a press release on Tuesday stating that they had received complaints from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada about the disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods on the poster of the film that was showcased as part of the ‘Under the Tent’ project at Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.

The High Commission has urged the Canadian authorities and the event organisers to withdraw all such provocative material

Earlier, independent filmmaker Leena Manimekalai drew flak online days after she tweeted the poster of her latest documentary Kaali. The poster that was tweeted last Saturday showed a woman dressed as the Hindu Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette and holding a pride flag representing the LGBT community in her hand.

The Kaali poster sparked outrage online with many demanding her arrest, accusing her of hurting religious sentiments. Soon, #Arrestleenamanimekalai started trending on Twitter.

Following the reaction on social media, Canada-based Manimekalai urged users to use the hashtag “love you Leena manimekalai” instead of “#arrest Leena manimekalai”. “The film revolves around the events that take place one evening, when Kali appears and strolls the streets of Toronto. If you see the picture, don’t put the hashtag ‘arrest Leena manimekalai’ and put the hashtag ‘love you Leena manimekalai’” tweeted the filmmaker.

“I have nothing to lose. I want to be with a voice that speaks without fear of anything until it is. If the price is my life, I will give it,” she added in another tweet in Tamil.

Kaali was first screened during Rhythms of Canada, a week-long festival celebrating multiculturalism, at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto last weekend. “Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film – today at @AgaKhanMuseu as part of its “Rhythms of Canada”@YorkuAMPD @TorontoMet @YorkUFGS Feeling pumped with my CREW,” she tweeted.

Manimekalai, who belongs to the Maharajapuram village in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar, has internationally acclaimed films Madathi and Sengadal the Dead Sea to her credit.

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(Inputs from ANI)

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First published on: 05-07-2022 at 11:21:48 am
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