Having made a mess of the Kiku Sharda case, the Kaithal police are under fire for first arresting the comedian from Mumbai in a hasty manner and then ‘facilitating’ his release on bail.
Karnal range inspector general of police (IGP) Hanif Qureshi has ordered an internal inquiry into the matter. Confirming this to Hindustan Times on Thursday, Qureshi said they would look into the procedural errors, if any, in the entire matter.
The Kaithal police had arrested Sharda early on Wednesday morning, apparently under pressure from supporters of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda. Sharda is accused of hurting religious sentiments by mimicking dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a TV show. The police, having secured Sharda’s 14-day judicial custody, gave in writing to a local court hearing his bail plea that the actor’s detention was not required even for questioning.
“The entire sequence of events, right from the actor’s arrest in Mumbai to his release on bail the same day, is under the scanner. We are probing whether due procedure was followed before and after the arrest of the television actor,” Qureshi said, while declining to comment any further on the matter.
Sources told Hindustan Times that the police top brass had taken a strong note of Wednesday’s developments, adding that the Kaithal police had been directed to desist from questioning or arresting any other accused named in the case.
“The case pertaining to hurting of religious sentiments was registered in Kaithal, but the accused actor was not served any notice to join the investigation. His arrest in Mumbai was completely avoidable,” a source said.
Sharda was produced in the court of Kaithal chief judicial magistrate Nandita Kaushik on Wednesday and the police gave in writing that the actor’s interrogation was not required, leading to his bail.