The Kathmandu District Court on Thursday has ordered release of comedian Apoorwa Kshitiz Singh on bail of Rs 250,000.
The bench of Judge Madhav Prasad Mainali has ordered release of Singh on bail after the bail hearing, according to Spokesperson at the court Deepak Dahal. Singh’s statement was recorded in the bench of Mainali before that.
Singh was arrested on August 28 after some activists lodged complaints against him at the District Police Range Kathmandu accusing him of insulting the Newar community in one of his stand-up comedy acts and then released on date on September 8.
The District Government Attorney Office has filed a charge sheet demanding Singh be jailed for one to five years.
The activists had filed four separate complaints against him 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.
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.
He was eventually released on date on September 8 after he tested positive for COVID-19. He was again arrested on Monday after the police completed investigation in the case and submitted the investigation report to the District Government Attorney Office.