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Saif Ali Khan among nine named in FIR lodged by Hindu outfit leader in MP against Tandav


BHOPAL: Despite makers of web series Tandav issuing an unconditional apology and also deleting contentious scenes from the nine-episode series, the FIR lodging spree by right-wing Hindu outfits against the cast and crew of the Saif Ali Khan-starrer web series continues unabated in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh.

Yet another FIR has been registered by the leader of another Hindu outfit in MP. The fresh FIR has been registered by Keshav Sharma, the leader of RSS-affiliated Hindu Jagaran Manch at the Guna Cantt police station of Guna district.

This is the third FIR that has been lodged against the cast and crew of the controversial web series within three days in the central Indian state for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindu community.

The FIR, which was registered on Thursday late night, has been lodged against nine persons under Sections 153-A, 295, 505(1)(b), 505(2) and 469 of IPC, besides Sections 66,66F and 67 of the Information and Technology Act.

Those named in the FIR include the web series director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Krishna Mehra, story writer Gaurav Solanki, actors Mohmmad Zeeshan Ayub and Saif Ali Khan, executive producer Bhaumik Gondaliya and Amazon Prime Video's India content head Aparna Purohit.

Importantly, the list of the nine accused/suspects in the FIR also include the names of Farhana Akhtar and Ritesh Savdhani. These names resemble those of Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani – both makers of another controversial Amazon Prime Video web series Mirzapur.

Just a few days ago, acting on the complaint of Lucknow-based senior journalist Arvind Chaturvedi, an FIR was registered at the Mirzapur Dehat Police Station of East UP's Mirzapur district against Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani and Bhaumik Gondaliya for allegedly showing Mirzapur district in bad light through abusive content and promoting social enmity.

The 'Present Address' column in the FIR lodged at Guna Cantt police station mentions Guna, Madhya Pradesh.  

The FIR has been registered on the complaint of the Hindu Jagaran Manch leader Keshav Sharma, who made the complaint to the Guna police on the basis of a video of Tandav web series going viral on social media. In his complaint, Sharma alleged the videos hurt Hindu religious sentiments.

However, when contacted by The New Indian Express over phone about his complaint and the FIR containing among the accused the names of Farhana Akhtar and Ritesh Savdhani (that resemble those of the makers of the Mirzapur web series), the Hindu Jagaran Manch leader stuck to his allegations that both these persons were also part of the Tandav web series cast and crew.

The in-charge of Guna Cantt police station Avnit Sharma said, "The list of accused in the FIR is based on the complaint by the complainant. If during the course of investigations, it's found that some of those included as accused have no link with the concerned web series, their names will be dropped from the FIR."

Prior to this case in Guna district, two FIRs were lodged at Jabalpur and Gwalior respectively on January 19 and 20 based on the complaints of other right-wing Hindu outfit leaders.