Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said street plays on current issues weren't blasphemous and that dressing up was not a crime unless offensive material was being said. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, "Nukad Natak on current issues is not blasphemous. Dressing up is not a crime unless offensive material is said. Appropriate order has been issued to @nagaonpolice."
This came after an activist was arrested in Assam for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during a street play, in which he, dressed as Lord Shiva, was seen arguing with a woman, who enacted the role of Goddess Parvati, when their motorcycle ran out of petrol.
Nagaon Superintendent of Police Leena Doley said the activist, Birinchi Bora, was arrested on Saturday under bailable sections on two complaints by Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.
"We had arrested him for hurting religious sentiments, showing disrespect towards women, attempting to create disharmony among communities and also under Motor Vehicles Act for not wearing shoes and helmet during the play on the road," she said.
Speaking to news agency ANI, a BJP worker said: "They dressed up as Lord Shiv & Goddess Parvati. If you want to protest, sit & do it. We don't support their act of dressing up as deities."
Meanwhile, the activist was released on Sunday morning.