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Four members of rock band held for ‘insulting Hindu religion

Panaji: Four members of ‘Dastaan Live’, an art-rock band, were arrested by the Panaji police on charges of alleged acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. They were later released on conditional bail, the police said.

The band had performed on Tuesday night at the DB ground, Campal-Panaji at the ongoing Serendipity Arts festival.

Police said that two women artists and two male musicians were arrested on Wednesday afternoon. Their names were disclosed as Sumant Balakrishnan (34) and Anirban Ghosh (37), both musicians from Delhi and artists Shiva Pathak (40) and Nirmala Ravindran (45), both from Bangalore. In the evening, they were released on conditional bail by the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Panaji.

The group has been accused of alleged blasphemy and the allegation is that the group was performing songs reportedly insulting the Hindu religion by chanting ‘OM’ with abusive languages ‘ullu ke patta’, the police said.

Police said that the FIR was registered under section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) following a complaint lodged by Venkata Kunduru, a resident of Delhi, who was among the audience when the band had performed.

The incident had occurred between 8 pm to 10 pm on Tuesday at the DB ground, Campal-Panaji. Referring to the complaint, the police said that the ‘Dastaan Live’ group misused the platform of Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 by performing songs by chanting ‘OM’ with abusive language ‘ullu ke patta’ insulting the Hindu religion and displayed different walks of life with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of a Hindu citizen.

PSI Subhash Gaonkar is investigating the case under the supervision of PI Sudesh Naik.

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