Haryana Police arrested comedian Kiku Sharda from Mumbai following the complaint that he mimicked Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and hurting religious sentiments. Kiku, best known for playing Palak on the popular TV show Comedy Nights with Kapil, has been sent to 14-day judicial custody.
The actor was arrested for mimicking Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, ANI reported. He was reportedly booked under section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code (outraging religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious belief)” A complaint was filed against him on January 1 for imitating the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head on his TV show, which aired on December 27.
M Ramkumar, deputy commissioner of police, zone XII (Mumbai), said, “Sharda was arrested after a team of Haryana police arrived in Mumbai with the complaint against him early on Wednesday.”
Sharda was shooting for the same show late on Tuesday when a team of Haryana police approached the Aarey police officials in Mumbai to intimate about the case. When the shooting was wrapped up around 1 am Wednesday, Sharda was arrested, said officials.
After the arrest, Kiku apologised and told reporters, “I’m an artist who is given a role, a get-up and told what to do. I’ve already apologised, I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments. I did not mean to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments. I am sorry, I was just following a script. Usually, if an objectionable word comes out while performing, it’s edited by the channel. This is also channel’s responsibility.”
“I am really very, very sorry. If I’ve hurt anyone’s sentiments. I fold my hands and apologise to everyone,” he added.
Reacting to the complaint, Kiku had told Hindustan Times earlier, “I have a lot of respect for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singhji. The look [on the show] wasn’t deliberate; it just happened to match [Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s look]. We didn’t plan it as a spoof on him. It’s a coincidence, and it is unfortunate. I am sorry that people felt hurt. "