Lucknow: Bhojpuri singer Varun Upadhyay alias Varun Bahar, who posted a song on YouTube titled ‘Jo Na Bole Jai Shri Ram, Usko Bhejo Kabristan’ was taken into police custody from Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda on Friday.
Bahar’s three-minute-song that went viral on social media, drew the ire of thousands for inciting violence, encouraging mob lynching of minority communities and making exhortations through the lyrics. Several FIRs were also lodged against him across the country.
He, along with three others, were taken into custody in the wee hours of morning by a team of cops of the Hazratganj police station from his village Bandarha in Gonda.
Bahar released the song with Santosh Singh Yadav, the writer of the song and a co-curator of the YouTube channel called Janta Musical and Pictures, which produced and directed the video, the police said.
Speaking to media about the singer's detention, SSP Lucknow Kalanidhi Naithani, said, "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."
Further investigations are underway and the police is trying to track down more hate speech content, he said, as he made an appeal to the people to intimate the police immediately if they come across any such inflammatory songs or videos on social media. " This is important as it can hamper the communal harmony of the society," he added.
The ‘devotional’ singer had earlier made an appeal to right-wing groups like Bajrang Dal and Hindu Yuva Vahini to help him in the face of the backlash his song had created.
Featuring alongside Yadav, Bahar categorically denied that his lyrics were inflammatory and said that the singer did not take names of any religion.“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.”
Expressing regret, the singer added that the song was sung in ‘Josh’ and the matter should be put to rest. “I have been singing for last 12 years and have done course in professional singing from Bhatkhande Music University in Lucknow,” he said.