India

Kiku Sharda's imitation of Ram Raheem gets him arrested

13 Jan 2016 | By Vaneet Randhawa
Comedian ruffles Ram Raheem followers' feathers

Haryana police arrested comedian/actor Kiku Sharda for imitating Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the self-styled spiritual guru.

Mr. Sharda's arrest and detainment was based on "charges of hurting the religious sentiments of the followers" of godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Kiku Sharda was sent to 14 days judicial custody after his arrest and is currently in Kaithal, Haryana.

In context: Comedian ruffles Ram Raheem followers' feathers

Introduction Who is Kiku Sharda?

Kiku Sharda (original name Raghvendra) is an Indian comedian, film and television actor.

He has played small roles in at least dozen Bollywood movies and television shows before landing a part in Comedy Nights with Kapil where he shot to fame as Palak and Lachcha.

He was also seen in reality shows like Nach Baliye and Jhalak Dikhla Ja.

Jan 2016Act on Comedy Nights becomes trouble for Kiku Sharda

In an episode aired in December 2015 on Colors channel's Comedy Night with Kapil, actor Kiku Sharda was seen in a colourful cap, a beard and a moustache.

Followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh alleged that Sharda was imitating their God-man.

Visibly upset, his followers in Haryana reported against Sharda for hurting their religious sentiments sometime in the first week of January.

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Kiku says the similarity in appearance a coincidence

13 Jan 2016Kiku says the similarity in appearance a coincidence

Apologising for the situation, Kiku said that he respected Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

He said that his "look [on the show] wasn't deliberate; it just happened to match [Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's look]." He said that it was not meant as a spoof on him.

He said the similarity was a mere coincidence and that people should not read further into it.

13 Jan 2016Kiku Sharda's imitation of Ram Raheem gets him arrested

13 Jan 2016Suresh Menon defends Kiku Sharda

Speaking in defense of Sharda, actor/comedian Suresh Menon said that Sharda had done nothing wrong as imitation was a form of flattery.

He said that he was surprised with the "Haryana police coming to Mumbai and whisking an actor away without taking permission of the local cops."

Moreover, he said that Gurmeet Singh should tell his followers to 'just chill.'

Kiku apologises to Dera Sacha Sauda followers

Kiku Sharda on being arrested, apologised saying, "If I've hurt anyone's sentiments. I fold my hands and apologize to everyone".
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14 Jan 2016Kiku Sharda gets bail, is detained and released again

Actor Kiku Sharda was granted bail hours after his arrest on a bond surety of Rs.1 lakh.

This became possible only after Gurmeet Ram Raheem said he personally did not have a problem as he had apologised.

However, hours after he was released from Kaithal, he was detained again in Haryana's Fatehabad district on another complaint.

Latest reports state that he has been released.

15 Jan 2016Ali Asgar gets anticipatory bail from Bombay HC

Actor Ali Asgar got interim pre-arrest security from the Bombay High Court on 15 January.

He had moved to the HC for anticipatory bail after being informed that other than Kiku Sharda, 8 other actors had been named in the FIR.

He said that he was willing to appear before the police in Haryana but he would do so only as a 'free man'.