Not blasphemous, says Assam CM Himanta Biswa after police arrest man dressed as Lord Shiva : The Tribune India
Guwahati/Morigaon, July 10
An activist has been arrested in Assam for allegedly hurting religious feelings during a street performance, in which he, dressed as Lord Shiva, was seen arguing with a woman, who played the part of the goddess Parvati, when their motorbike ran out of gas, a policeman told an officer on Sunday.
Disapproving of the police arrest, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said staging a street performance on current issues is not blasphemous and proper instructions have been given. given to the district police to release him.
I agree with you @NavroopSingh_ this
Nukad Natak on current issues is not blasphemous. Dressing up is not a crime unless offensive material is said.
The appropriate order has been issued to @nagaonpolice https://t.co/Fivh7KMX5L
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 10, 2022
The CM, taking to Twitter, said: “Nukad Natak on current issues is not blasphemous. Dressing up is not a crime unless offensive material is said. Appropriate order has been given to @nagaonpolice.”
Sarma made the statement on the microblogging platform after lawyer-author Navroop Singh brought the matter to his attention through a series of tweets and called on him to release the activist.
“Nukad Natak on current issues is not blasphemous. Dressing up is not a crime unless offensive words are said. We must stop this! Free this man @himantabiswa!!!
Nagaon Police Superintendent, Leena Doley, said the activist, Birinchi Bora, was arrested on bail on Saturday following two complaints filed by Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.
“We had him arrested for hurting religious feelings, disrespecting women, trying to create discord between communities and also under the Motor Vehicle Act for not wearing shoes and a helmet during the game on the road.
“As the sections were bondable, he was released on Sunday morning,” she told PTI.
The woman, who played the character of Goddess Parvati, could not be found so far, and another person associated with the play, Dulal Bora, was asked to appear at the Nagaon police station, a Doley said.
On Saturday afternoon, raising the issues of rising prices as well as unemployment, Bora and his associates performed a play on the road near Nowgong College Clock Tower Point.
In the play, Bora as Lord Shiva criticized the government for the relentless rise in prices of almost every commodity, including fuels, LPG cylinders, and other essentials.
He also highlighted the unemployment issues in the country, reminding people of the broken job promises made to people.
Bajrang Dal District Units and VHP, following the symbolic protest, filed two FIRs separately at Nagaon Police Station, alleging that the play “categorically undermines the dignity of Hindu gods”.
The police immediately arrested Bora, a former general secretary of the Nowgong College Students Union, and then arrested him.
His arrest was widely condemned by many on social media.