Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district have arrested Bhojpuri singer Varun Upadhyay, who also goes by Varun Bahar, for singing and uploading a controversial song ‘Jo Na Bole Jai Shri Ram, Usko Bhejo Kabristan’ (Those who don’t chant Jai Shri Ram- Send them to the graveyard), reports News18.
Three other individuals involved in the composition and production of the song have also been taken into custody. The song, which gained viral traction on social media, drew an outcry from some quarters claiming that it encourage violence against minorities.
"The cyber cell of Lucknow alerted us about the provocative video that was uploaded on the YouTube channel owned by Rajesh Verma. He, along with Yadav and a man by the name of Mukesh Pandey, were involved in composing the song with Bahar and have also been detained," said SSP Lucknow Kalanidhi Naithani.
Bahar has tried to clarify that he sang the song in ‘josh’ (enthusiasm/excitement) and has defended himself by saying that the song contained nothing of an inflammatory nature.
“I have not taken the names of any religion here. Media is after my life and is not concerned about content on social media that is much more provocative and vulgar in nature,” he said.
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