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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 17:06 GMT
Hindu row over Coronation Street
Maya and Sunita
Maya (foreground) attacked Sunita in her flat
Hindu leaders have rejected an apology from Coronation Street after a scene showed a Hindu statue used as a weapon.

Viewers saw Maya threaten Sunita with a statue of Hindu god Lord Ganesh as part of a long running plot line.

ITV apologised for any offence caused but said it was clear "Maya's actions were that of a deranged woman".

Ramesh Kallidai, secretary of The Hindu Forum of Britain said: "The apology is not unconditional, it makes a justification for the behaviour."

He added: "This is not acceptable to us."

The scene showed Maya ordering a cowering Sunita to be submissive or her husband would come home to find Sunita had been "beaten to death by Ganesh, the God of good fortune".

Not satisfied

The ITV statement said it was clear Maya "had no regard for anyone or anything at the moment that the line was said and any right-minded individual would believe her actions to be abhorrent".

Mr Kallidai said ITV had not apologised to his organisation directly.

"We have had lots of calls from agitated Hindus - do you think they would have filmed a scene where a mentally ill person is shown throwing a Koran on the floor?" he said.

Offer of help

"The media should be as responsible as it is creative," he added.

The Forum had also sought an assurance that it would be consulted before including any use of Hindu icons that may cause hurt or anger in the community.

"We are here to give input to the media, please speak to us if you are thinking of showing anything insensitive," said Mr Kallidai.

The Hindu Forum of Britain is the largest umbrella body for British Hindus, with more than 230 member organisations from across the UK.

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