Actor Kiku Sharda, who was arrested for impersonating godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, believes that it was incorrect to "solely" blame him for the act.
"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' have been shot and edited. Why should I be solely blamed?" Kiku said in an interview to a news channel.
Kiku was booked and arrested by Haryana Police following a complaint that he spoofed Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of Dera Sacha Sauda sect. He was sent to 14 days' judicial custody on Wednesday by a court in Haryana's Kaithal town, hours after his arrest here.
The "Comedy Nights With Kapil" star was on Wednesday evening released on a surety bond of Rs 1 lakh by the Kaithal court.
However, he was arrested again by Haryana Police, this time from Fatehabad district (near Hisar), for the same offence.
The actor feels if he had received the court summons in advance, "things would have been different".
"On the day of my shoot in Mumbai, where I was shooting for 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'...the cops come and tell me that there is a warrant and we need to move and go to another city in another state so, that is too sudden and harsh. If I had received the summons before, things would have been different," he said.
Kiku 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'), 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," Uday Singh told media persons.
The show, in which Kiku dressed up like the sect chief, was aired on December 27.
B-Town comes out in support of Sharda
“Wrong”, “absurd” and “insane” are some of the words that Bollywood celebrities like Rishi Kapoor, Boman Irani, Anurag Kashyap and Sonakshi Sinha have used to condemn Haryana Police's decision to arrest Sharda.
Outraged by the arrest, here's what the celebs tweeted:
Rishi Kapoor: 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!
Twinkle Khanna: A country where everything is sacred except laughter #KikuSharda
Boman Irani: First things first, if the man has sincerely apologised could someone please put him out of his misery!!! #kikusharda
Anurag Kashyap: 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.
Huma Qureshi: Living in the times where one can get arrested for laughing, lampooning and imitation. Will I get arrested for tweeting next? #outrage.
Sonakshi Sinha: Someone imitates god—nothing. Kiku imitates someone— gets arrested. This is wrong on so many levels its not even funny.
Sonu Sood: So true. Wakeup India. It's 2016. @kikusharda bro we are with you. #WeStandWithKikuSharda
Nimrat Kaur: So a professional comedian can be jailed for recognising an unintentional one. No laughing matter.
Mini Mathur: The agenda is to systemically silence all opinion and free speech. So no one can question anything anymore. Can't everyone see it? #KikuSharda.
Karan Wahi: I think it's high time we stop thinking that India is a country of just the snake charmers still. @kikusharda we are with you. #KikuSharda.
Ranvir Shorey: This is absurd! Haryana police whisks @kikusharda away overnight to Haryana from a studio in Mumbai. On what basis was such a warrant issued? Only a court in Haryana would want a comedian in custody, and criminals as law makers! @kikusharda isn't the one who should be in jail! These are the 'Babas' of our times. Selling themselves as action heroes, while getting comedians put behind bars. This is 'Ghor Kalyug'!
Rahul Mahajan: #Asaram key witness gets killed or go missing, Ram Rahim using films to do money laundry. And who gets arrested @kikusharda.
Sophie Choudry: This is insane! We have really lost the ability to laugh at ourselves. Hope you ok @kikusharda.