Bollywood celebrities like Rishi Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap and Sonakshi Sinha have condemned the Haryana Police's decision to arrest Kiku Sharda following a complaint that he spoofed Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of Dera Sacha Sauda sect. The actor says it is incorrect to "solely" blame him for the act.
Kiku, known for his comic role in popular TV show 'Comedy Nights with Kapil', was sent to 14 days judicial custody on Wednesday by a court in Haryana's Kaithal town, hours after his arrest here.
He was accused by sect follower Uday Singh of dressing up like Gurmeet Ram Rahim and mimicking the self-proclaimed godman in the show 'Jashn-E-Ummeed'.
"It was a dance performance. We had a choreographer. If we knew it's going to hurt sentiments, it could have been avoided. Maybe my knowledge was less, I wasn't sure that it would become this big. It could've been shot and edited. Why should I be solely blamed?" Kiku said in an interview to news channel CNN IBN.
Kiku, who has also apologised for his act, was released on a surety bond of Rs.1 lakh by the Kaithal court and his release was ordered. However, he was arrested again by Haryana Police, this time from Fatehabad district (near Hisar), for the same offence.
Celebrities like Rishi Kapoor, Twinkle Khanna, Boman Irani, Kashyap and Sonakshi Sinha have strongly condemned Kiku's arrest by calling it "wrong", "absurd" and "insane" on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Rishi said: "See this picture (of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh)! I would like to play this rockstar in a film. Let me see who puts me behind bars? Go Kiku Sharda!
Kashyap said that Gurmeet Ram Rahim "insults the sensibilities of anyone who is sixth class pass with his MSG films."
"Why is he not arrested? Really the man who has to call himself 'Insaan' to prove he is maybe a human, is of such weak disposition that he gets a comic arrested," Kashyap added.
Sonakshi tweeted: "Someone imitates god - nothing. Kiku imitates someone - gets arrested. This is wrong on so many levels its not even funny."
Uday Singh, who has accused Kiku of dressing up like Gurmeet Ram Rahim and mimicking the self-proclaimed godman, told media persons: "In the show ('Jashn-E-Ummeed'), he (Kiku) was shown dressed up like our respected guruji. He was shown with liquor and dancing with two girls. He did a mockery of guruji. Whosoever saw it, their feelings were hurt."
Gurmeet Ram Rahim himself said that if Kiku has apologised for what he did, he doesn't have any further "complaints from my side".
"I was busy shooting OnlineGurukul; just got to know, devotees are hurt due to Kiku's action. If he has apologised, no complaint from my side," Gurmeet Ram Rahim tweeted on Wednesday evening.