Web series row MP police books two Netflix officials

    (Eds: Adding quotes of Khargone district collector on
likely location of the shoot)
    Bhopal/Indore, Nov 23 (PTI) An FIR was registered in
Madhya Pradesh on Monday against two executives of OTT
platform Netflix for allegedly hurting religious sentiments
through its web series "A Suitable Boy" which showed kissing
scenes purportedly on the campus of a temple, an official
    The FIR has named Monika Shergill, Vice President,
Content (Netflix) and Ambika Khurana, Director, Public
Policies (Netflix), Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam
Mishra said.
    Meanwhile, collector of Khargone district Anugraha P
told PTI that the controversial kissing scenes do not appear
to have filmed inside a temple in Maheshwar town in the
    Earlier in the day, Shergill and Khurana were booked
by Rewa police on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Yuva
Morcha (BJYM) national secretary Gaurav Tiwari who demanded
apology from Netflix and the makers of the series, and removal
of "objectionable scenes", which he stated were also
"encouraging love jihad".
    "I had asked officials to examine the series 'A
Suitable Boy' being streamed on Netflix to check if kissing
scenes in it were filmed inside a temple and if it hurt
religious sentiments. The examination prima facie found that
these scenes are hurting the sentiments of a particular
religion," Mishra said in a video statement.
    "On the basis of a complaint filed by Gaurav Tiwari,
an FIR is being registered under section 295 (A) (malicious
acts to outrage and insulting the religious feelings and
beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in Rewa against
Netflix officials- Monika Shergill and Ambika Khurana," he
    Rewa superintendent of police Rakesh Kumar Singh told
reporters that the FIR has been registered and further
investigation is underway.
    On Saturday, Gaurav Tiwari had submitted a memorandum
to the Rewa superintendent of police demanding an apology from
Netflix and makers of the series, and removal of
"objectionable scenes" from "A Suitable Boy".
    "Kissing scenes (filmed) inside a temple of Lord
Maheshwar (a historic town located on the banks of Narmada in
Madhya Pradesh) have hurt the sentiments of Hindus. This is
also encouraging 'love jihad'," Tiwari had stated.
    He had named Monika Shergill and Ambika Khurana in his
complaint application.
    The six-part Netflix series has been directed by
renowned filmmaker Mira Nair, who is known for her
critically-acclaimed films such as "Salaam Bombay", "Monsoon
Wedding" and "The Namesake".
    "We have not received any formal complaint so far
regarding the controversy surrounding the Netflix series. But
taking cognisance of media reports, I sent a sub-divisional
magistrate (SDM) and tehsildar to the spot at Maheshwar. We
have inspected the fort complex where the web series ("A
Suitable Boy") was shot.
    "There are also temples in the huge fort complex on
the banks of the Narmada River at Maheshwar. But according to
the SDM report, at first glance, it seems the controversial
kissing scenes were not filmed inside the temple. Probably
these scenes were shot somewhere else in the fort complex,"
the collector said.
    She said a committee will be constituted to probe the
matter in detail if the government orders so.
    "As of now, the allegation has not been confirmed that
the controversial kissing scenes of the web series were shot
inside a temple in Maheshwar. However, if the state government
orders us, we will constitute a committee to investigate the
matter in detail and send a report," the collector said.
    She said the district administration had allowed the
shooting of "A Suitable Boy" in Maheshwar during December last

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)