Four members of the music band “Dastaan” were arrested and later released on bail in Goa on Wednesday for a performance that allegedly hurt religious sentiments of Hindus, PTI reported. Sumant Balakrishnan, Anirban Ghosh, Shiva Pathak and Nirmala Ravindran performed songs at the ongoing Serendipity Arts Festival in the state.
They were arrested under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (hurting religious feelings) based on a complaint by lawyer Venkat Krishna Kunduru. The complaint said that the band had insulted the Hindu religion by mixing abusive language with the chanting of “Om”.
The artists were released on bail bonds of Rs 20,000 each, a police officer said.
Investigating officer Subhash Gaonkar said the artists were singing with the “malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of Hindu citizens”, The Indian Express reported. “We are now asking for footage from the organisers and will listen if they did say these words,” he said. “Also, we will call witnesses to confirm if it hurt any sentiments.”
The organisers of the festival said the performance was a “curated work” of several poems that already exist.
Balakrishnan and Ghosh are co-founders of “Dastaan”.