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26 February 2024

Sonakshi escapes; Alia, Deepika, Ranveer, Arjun get roasted

A-list Bollywood actors are among those named in the case over the show AIB Knockout, which caused uproar in India for its profanities and sexual references. (Agencies)

By Bollywood Correspondent

Mumbai Police said Friday they have registered a case against a string of Bollywood celebrities, alleging obscenity in the staging of a comedy 'roast' show which sparked a furore over freedom of expression.

A-list actress Deepika Padukone and filmmaker Karan Johar are among those named in the case over the show AIB Knockout, which was pulled from YouTube after causing uproar in India for its profanities and sexual references.

Police will now investigate the group - as part of the 'first information report' or FIR filed - including for criminal conspiracy, obscene acts and songs, and words or gestures intended to insult a woman's modesty.

However, filmmaker and Alia's father Mahesh Bhatt expressed his concerns regarding the FIR, especially about how the FIR had named only certain people and left out others.

He argued why the FIR did not name the other 3,998 attendees of the show and only a couple of celebrities.

More importantly, if it names celebrities in the audience, why not Sonakshi Sinha who was present and seemed to have enjoyed the jokes.

Bhatt clearly indicating to Sonakshi's father, Shatrughan Sinha, a minister in the ruling government having an influence over the exclusion of her name.

This just ticked-off Sonakshi, who took to Twitter to respond to Bhatt's insinuation.

The 'Dabangg' actor soon shot off a series of tweets to Bhatt in response to his allegations.

"Dear Mr.@MaheshNBhatt, a couple of pointless FIR's have been filed before this (delhi and kol if im not mistaken, in which my name was (1/4)"

"Mentioned and Alia's wasnt. I don't remember my father questioning them as to how or why so. I do agree with u however, if these FIR's (2/4)"

"Are filed on 2-3 members of the audience, why not the other 3,998. Lets not give these ppl the attention they so desperately seek, (3/4)"

"And as far as my memory serves me, nobody EVER went to jail for laughing. (4/4)"

After the barrage of tweets from Ms Sinha, Bhatt seems to have conceded defeat.

He tweeted, "@sonakshisinha TRUE! I could not agree with you more. Thank you for your SANE response. Amazed by your maturity at this tender age. Love."

As for now, the controversy surrounding AIB seems far from over.

"The FIR is registered against 14 accused at Tardeo police station," Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesman for the Mumbai force, told AFP, listing the various organisers and participants accused.

AIB Knockout, hosted by Karan Johar in December, comically insulted several Bollywood actors in front of a large audience strewn with celebrities such as Deepika Padukone, in a format common in Western countries but rarely seen in India.

The show included Johar and Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh - both also booked by the police - singing a reworking of a song with the Hindi word for penis substituting some lyrics.

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