The Kathmandu District Court has granted police five more days to keep comedian Apoorwa Kshitiz Singh in custody.
SP Dinesh Raj Mainali at District Police Range Kathmandu informed Setopati that they have been allowed to keep Singh in custody for five more days to complete the investigation.
Singh was arrested on August 28 after some activists lodged complaints against him at the Police Range accusing him of insulting the Newar community in one of his stand-up comedy acts.
SSP Bharat Bohara said that Singh’s custody has been extended as there are four separate complaints and the police have not completed their investigation yet. He said that they will submit the case in a couple of days.
Singh was initially remanded to custody for 10 days, which ended on Tuesday.
The activists have filed four separate complaints against Singh under Section 165 (Prohibition of undermining social rites and rituals), Section 166 (Prohibition of untouchability or discriminatory treatment on ground of caste) and Section 168 (Prohibition of degrading or inhuman treatment) of Chapter 10 (Offenses Relating to Discrimination and Other Degrading Treatment), and Section 65 (Prohibition of acts prejudicial to public tranquility) of Chapter 2 (Offenses against Public Tranquility) of the Nepal Penal (Code) Act, 2017.
The activists had held discussion with Singh’s family on Sunday. They had said that they would reach a settlement and take initiative to get him released. But SSP Bohara said that the two parties have not reached any settlement.
A YouTube channel called Comedy Cafe had uploaded a video of Singh’s stand-up comedy titled “Newarko Parampara” (Newar’s Tradition) on August 26. However, the video was removed within 24 hours following criticism as many people from the Newar community objected to it and accused Singh of mocking their language, food and culture.
Singh later apologized for it through Facebook, but some activists still lodged complaints with the police demanding action against him. He was subsequently taken into custody for investigation.
Meanwhile, CPN-UML Chief Whip and lawmaker Bishal Bhattarai demanded Singh’s release while speaking in parliament on Wednesday.