Kaali poster row: After UP, Delhi Police files case against Leena Manimekalai

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has registered a case against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai in connection with a controversial poster of her documentary “Kaali”, officials said on Tuesday. Police received a complaint from a lawyer, alleging that a poster is circulating on social media in which goddess Kali is shown smoking a cigarette. From the contents of the complaint and the social media post, prima facie, an offence under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (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) was made out and a case registered against Manimekalai at the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operation (IFSO) unit of the Special Cell, a senior police officer said.

A probe in the matter has been launched, he added.

Under attack for the poster of her documentary “Kaali” showing the goddess smoking and holding an LGBTQ flag, Manimekalai on Monday said she will continue to use her voice fearlessly till she is alive.

The poster had led to a social media storm with the hashtag #ArrestLeenaManimekalai”, alleging that the filmmaker had hurt religious sentiments. Several Twitter users also slammed Manimekalai.

In response to the attacks, the filmmaker, based in Canada’s Toronto, said she is willing to pay with her life.

“I have nothing to lose. Till the time I live, I wish to live with a voice that speaks what I believe without fear. If the price for that is my life, it can be given,” Manimekalai wrote in a tweet in Tamil in response to an article on the controversy.

The Madurai-born filmmaker had shared the poster of “Kaali” on the microblogging website on Saturday and said the documentary was part of the “Rhythms of Canada” segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

Manimekalai also urged people to watch the documentary to understand the context behind the poster.

Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh police had also registered an FIR on charges of criminal conspiracy, offence in place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments, and intention to provoke breach of peace against Manimekalai for her movie ‘Kaali’ for the disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods.