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‘Jo Na bole Jai Sri Ram’: Four arrested for composing and uploading ‘hate song’

The video titled ‘Jo Na bole Jai Sri Ram, bhej do usko kabristan’ was widely shared on social media last week and the police had received many complaints against the makers.

July 26, 2019 10:06 pm | Updated July 27, 2019 12:27 am IST - LUCKNOW

The accused with the police.

The accused with the police.

The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday arrested four persons for allegedly composing and uploading a “hate song” on social media, which prescribes a place in the graveyard for those who do not chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’ .

The video titled ‘ Jo Na bole Jai Sri Ram, bhej do usko kabristan’ was widely shared on social media last week and the police had received many complaints against the makers.

The four arrested persons were identified as Rajesh Kumar Verma, owner of the Youtube channel Janta Musical and Pictures on which the video was uploaded, writers of the song Mukesh Pandey and Santosh Yadav, and Varun Upadhyay alias Varun Bahar, the singer seen in the video. While Verma was nabbed from the Aliganj area of Lucknow, the other three were arrested from their home district Gonda, police said.

Kalanidhi Naithani, Superintendent of Police, Lucknow, said the statements of the four were being recorded. “They are being questioned to find out if they had uploaded such hate songs on other social media platforms.”

In a video uploaded on his personal YouTube channel on July 24, Bahar appeals to “Hindu brothers, the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Yuva Vahini” for their support. He also says that the song was not targeted against any caste or religion. “I sang this song for my religion, the religion I love,” he said.

A screenshot from the video titled ‘Jo Na bole Jai Sri Ram, bhej do usko kabristan’ shows Bhojpuri singer Varun Bahar.

A screenshot from the video titled ‘Jo Na bole Jai Sri Ram, bhej do usko kabristan’ shows Bhojpuri singer Varun Bahar.

 

Bahar, who identifies himself as a Bhojpuri singer on his social media profiles, claims the video had 2 lakh views in just a week.

Santosh Yadav, the song-writer, was much more explicit in defending the lyrics and said the song was composed and sung for “Hindutva” and “our religion.” Yadav blamed “anti-Ram elements” in the media for calling for their arrest. “But we are prepared. Even if we are hanged for dharm [religion], we have no qualms... we will continue to chant Jai Sri Ram,” he said.

Rakesh Kumar Verma, operator of the YouTube channel Janta Musical and Pictures which has 507k subscribers, however, apologised. In a video statement on July 24, he said it was not the intent of his channel to hurt religious or caste sentiments. “...our company will not launch such audio or video [in future],” Mr. Verma said. He said he deleted the video from his channel on the morning of July 22, hours after it had caught the public eye.

The controversial video, however, lists Verma as its producer and director.

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