Rabindra Mishra speaks against the arrest of comedian Apoorwa Kshitiz Singh: ‘Do not go to extremes’

Despite widespread calls for his release, leaders from the major political parties have maintained eerie silence. Mishra has become an exception.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The senior vice-chairman of Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Rabindra Mishra on Thursday expressed his dissatisfaction over the arrest of standup comedian Apoorwa Kshitiz Singh again by the police on Monday.

“It is a glaring example of how communal harmony has eroded over the years,” he wrote on social media. “He has already apologized. He has already removed the video from YouTube,” he said. “Despite this, stringent actions are being taken against him. Do not go to the extremes.”

Expressing his concern about the arrest, he wrote, “If our society continues to be intolerant, it will ruin us/our future generations just like in many other countries [where communal hatred has ruined the societies].”

Comedian Apoorwa Kshitiz Singh was arrested on August 28 after complaints were lodged against him for, what the complainants claim, “making derogatory remarks about Newari culture and tradition in his show”.

Later on September 8, the police had released him on bail after keeping him in custody for 12 days.  The artist was infected with Covid-19 at the time of release.

Police again arrested him on Monday amid the public uproar over his arrest and kept him in custody for 12-days curtailing freedom of speech.

Social media users have been demanding the early release of the artist. They are using #freeapoorva #ReleaseApoorwa hashtags on social media. Many have dubbed the incident as a threat to freedom of expression in the country.