Oz designer withdraws controversial bikini

Updated: May 10, 2011, 20:50 PM IST

Lucknow: The Allahabad high court has agreed to consider criminal proceedings over an Australian brand of swimwear bearing the image of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi that has sparked angry protests. The high court agreed to hear a public interest litigation on Tuesday, brought by lawyers over photographs of the swimwear published in a Hindi daily.

The lawyers argued that the newspaper should not have published the photographs and that the government should have pushed Australia to take action against the manufacturer, Lisa Blue Swimwear.

The photographs were from a fashion show in Sydney last week that saw models take to the catwalk in swimsuits and bikinis covered in images of Lakshmi, the goddess of light, prosperity and fertility.

News of the show triggered protests in the country at the weekend, with Hindu groups in Punjab burning Australian flags and photos of the swimwear in the streets.

Lisa Blue put out a statement promising to halt production immediately and apologising for any offence the design may have caused.

"This range will never be available for sale in any stockists or retail outlets anywhere in the world.

"We apologise to the Hindu community and take this matter very seriously," the statement said.

Bureau Report