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Complaint filed against Goa Sunburn Festival organisers for hurting the Hindu sentiments by insulting Lord Shiva

The primary grievance in these complaints revolves around the depiction of Lord Shiva on an LED screen during the festival, where attendees were seen consuming alcohol and engaging in disrespectful activities like indecent dance.

Complaints were filed against the organisers of the Goa Sunburn Festival for insulting the sentiments of people following Sanatana Dharma by displaying Lord Shiva’s image inappropriately. The complaints were lodged by Congress leader Vijay Bhike and various Hindu organisations, including the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, at the Mapusa police station in Goa.

The primary grievance in these complaints revolves around the depiction of Lord Shiva on an LED screen during the festival, where attendees were seen consuming alcohol and engaging in disrespectful activities like indecent dance. The festival, which took place from 28th to 30th December in Vagator, North Goa, has also witnessed other legal violations, including thefts and unauthorised sale of event passes.

Vijay Bhike’s complaint states, “The organisers have intentionally insulted the religious feelings of Hindus by portraying that Lord Shiva supports drinking alcohol, consumption of prohibited substances and other illicit activities that take place during the event.”

Similarly, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, in their complaint, expressed that, “It has been observed that at the present Sunburn Festival, the image of Lord Shiva was flashed on the screen…and people have been drinking alcohol and indecently dancing to loud music. This has hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.”

Additionally, Samiti’s complaint highlighted concerns about communal tension, describing the incident as, “This is also creating communal tension by using God of one religion for communal purpose and could create a law-and-order situation.” They had previously called for a ban on the annual festival, citing the promotion of a “drug culture.”

As of now, no FIR has been registered in this case, but a senior Goa police official has confirmed that they are thoroughly examining the complaints to ascertain the facts of the case.

Apart from these complaints, the Goa Sunburn Festival has encountered other legal issues. The Goa police arrested seven individuals from Mumbai for allegedly stealing high-end mobile phones valued at approximately Rs 25 lakh during the event. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Mapusa) Jivba Dalvi confirmed the recovery of 29 mobile phones stolen from festival-goers.

The police had anticipated such incidents and had deployed plainclothes officers at the venue for surveillance. Furthermore, five individuals employed by the festival organisers were apprehended for purportedly stealing passes worth Rs 82 lakh and attempting to sell them, following a complaint lodged by the organisers themselves.

Goa’s Sunburn Festival is no stranger to controversies. Previously embroiled in issues relating to noise pollution, the festival once again found itself amidst allegations of breaching noise pollution regulations this year. Despite stringent measures by the authorities and judicial oversight, the festival’s organisers faced legal action from the police for not adhering to established noise pollution standards during the ongoing event in Goa.

The Goa Police intervened at the Sunburn event at 10 p.m. on Thursday (28th December), acting against the organisers for breaching noise pollution regulations. Following complaints about the festival exceeding permissible sound levels, local law enforcement officials arrived at the scene, leading to the cessation of the program. Additionally, the organisers were formally charged and received a stern warning from the authorities to adhere to noise pollution norms.

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