The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has cited parodical songs against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to justify the arrest of the singers and activists of the cultural troupe Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) in the Elgar Parishad case.
In response to a petition filed in the Bombay High Court by KKM singers Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor challenging their arrest, the NIA cited songs which critiqued PM Modi as one of the reasons for the arrest.
The songs talk about cow-vigilante groups, and the BJP’s political agenda around Ram Mandir, reported The Wire.
“My name is Bhaktendra Modi. My speech is simple. My living is simple. And the coat is also one in lakhs. Hey, who is here? Don’t pay attention to the opposition. So, my speech is simple, my living is simple, but, if anybody comes after me, his elimination is certain.”NIA translated a song by KKM, as quoted by The Wire
In one of the songs, the KKM troupe has also mocked PM Modi’s weekly radio programme – “Mann ki Baat”. In the song, the troupe says that PM Modi’s followers should drink cow urine when thirsty and eat cow dung when hungry.
However, the NIA didn’t produce the original version of the songs, which were written in Marathi.
The investigative agency has claimed that the arrested singers were in touch with absconding Naxal leader Milind Teltumbde from 2011 to 2012, the report added. It had on 8 September arrested artist-activists Gorkhe and Gaichor of the Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch, in connection with the Elgar Parishad Case. Jagtap, a third activist from the group, was arrested from her residence on 9 September.
Booking the three activists under various acts including the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the NIA had said, “The accused persons are members of Kabir Kala Manch a frontal organization of banned terrorist organization CPI (Maoist).”
The three activists were members of the Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyaan, a body that had organised the Elgar Parishad conclave near Shaniwar Wada in Pune on 31 December 2017, just days ahead of the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregoan battle.
(With inputs from The Wire)