The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay has imposed fines of up to Rs 1.2 lakh on eight students who participated in a play loosely based on the epic Ramayana, after some students alleged that it was disrespectful to Hinduism, reported The Times of India.

A group of students had participated in a play titled “Raahovan” during the institute’s Performing Arts Festival held in March. The play was described as a feminist reinterpretation of the Ramayana with altered character names and storyline, an unidentified associate from the institute told the newspaper.

At the time, the audience and the judges did not object to it, they said.

However, a section of students objected to the reinterpretation of the epic and called it disrespectful towards Hindu deities Ram and Sita.

The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay has fined graduating students who took part in the play Rs 1.2 lakh each and held them to be ineligible for the institute’s gymkhana awards. Junior students have reportedly been fined Rs 40,000 each and have been barred from hostel facilities.

A notice sent to one of the students by the college administration was shared on social media platform X by an account named “IIT B for Bharat”, which is a campus group that claims to uphold “Indic civilisational values”.

On Wednesday, the group welcomed the institute’s actions. “The play…depicted the Ramayana in a derogatory manner,” the post said. “These students misused academic freedom to ridicule Lord Ram, Mata Sita, and Lord Laxman.”