The Bhopal Police on Thursday, 7 July, issued a look out notice against ‘Kaali’ director Leena Manimekalai following instructions from state Home Minister Dr Narottam Mishra.
An application of the notice was also sent to the Union government.
Earlier, the Madhya Pradesh Cyber Intelligence and Cyber Crime Police wrote to Twitter and stated that the contents of tweets by Manimekalai were unlawful under Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code, asking it to remove access to the "objectionable" content within 36 hours.
The 'Kaali' poster took internet by storm as several users claimed that it "hurt religious sentiments" with the depiction of a Hindu Goddess smoking cigarettes. The poster also shows the Pride flag, used by the LGBTQIA+ community, in the background.
The Uttar Pradesh and Delhi Police had earlier filed FIRs against Manimekalai. The UP Police charges were registered on criminal conspiracy, offence in the place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments, and intention to provoke breach of peace. The Delhi Police IFSO unit filed the FIR under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds) and 295A.
Speaking to The Quint about the controversy, Leena said, "It really shows the deteriorating sociopolitical condition in India. The country is sinking into a dark hole of hate and bigotry. These trolls are not only after my artistic freedom but also academic freedom. If I give away my freedom fearing this mindless mob mafia, I will give away everyone’s freedom. So I will keep it, come what may."