Kiku arrest makes India look like "tin pot republic": Congress

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New Delhi, Jan 14: The arrest of comedian Kiku Sharda by Haryana police over mocking Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh drew more derision today with Congress saying it made India look like a "tin pot republic" and actor Rishi Kapoor daring anyone to jail him if he plays this "rockstar" in a film.

Kiku, best known for his drag act as Palak in popular TV show "Comedy Nights With Kapil", was arrested by Haryana police yesterday on a complaint alleging he hurt religious sentiments by mimicking the Dera Sacha Sauda sect head. He was granted bail but was again arrested on a second complaint.

KIku Sharda

Noting that Haryana Police should be "ashamed" of carrying out the arrest, Congres spokesman Abhishek Singhvi hit out at the BJP government in the state and said comedians like Kiku should be awarded not arrested.

"Arrest of #kikusharda a slap on judicial system,where killing people is ok, but mimicking will land u in jail ! "V look like tin pot republic or like sum imploding nbours," Singhvi said in a series of tweets.

"As nation & as individuals v shd be proud to laugh at ourselves. Comedians like Palak shd be awarded not arrested. He makes us laugh so much." Singhvi said the Haryana Police should be "ashamed" of carrying out the arrest.

"V as nation & as persons esp Haryana Police shd b ashamed that comedian Sharda (palak) was arrested!V r proud of vibrant demo & free speech!".

Kapoor, a veteran actor, joined the chorus of Bollywood support for the comedian and took to Twitter to express his solidarity. The actor said he would play Ram Rahim and see who arrests him.

"I would like to play this rockstar in a film. Let me see who puts me behind bars? Go Kiku Sharda!," he tweeted along with a picture of Dera Chief.

Many Bollywood celebrities like Farah Khan, Kapil Sharma, Huma Qureshi and Vir Das earlier voiced their displeasure over the arrest.

PTI

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