Folk singer Neha Singh Rathore gets police notice for song about UP eviction drive
The notice alleged that Rathore’s song has created social disharmony in the region and asked her to explain her stance.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday issued a notice to Bhojpuri folk singer Neha Singh Rathore for her song UP mein ka ba, alleging that it created social disharmony.
On February 16, Rathore had shared a folk song that criticised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath while referring to an incident in which two women immolated themselves during an anti-encroachment drive in the Kanpur Dehat district.
On February 13, Pramila Dixit (46) and her daughter Neha Dixit (22) were killed at Madauli village in Kanpur Dehat district after officials allegedly set fire to their thatched house, reported The Indian Express.
The notice has asked Rathore to explain whether she featured in the video, whether she herself posted it on Twitter, and whether she manages her YouTube and Twitter accounts herself.
“This song has created enmity and tension in society, and you are legally bound to make your stand clear on this issue,” read the notice, reported The Indian Express. “You are required to present your reply within three days of receiving this notice. In case the reply is found to be unsatisfactory, then a case will be registered under the relevant sections of the IPC [Indian Penal Code] and CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure], and a legal investigation will be carried out.”
Commenting on the notice, Rathore said she would discuss the matter with her lawyers, but added that she would not be intimidated, NDTV reported.
“I am just a folk singer, nothing in front of these big leaders,” she said. “This is intolerance. The idea is to scare away every voice of dissent or criticism....I stand by the song and I will keep on singing.”
The development has drawn sharp reactions from Opposition leaders, including former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The Samajwadi Party leader tweeted lyrics bearing similarities to Rathore’s song on Wednesday.
The lyrics posted by Yadav alleged that false cases were being filed in the state even as farmers and the poor were suffering.
Aam Aadmi Party leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia said that it is shameful how the Uttar Pradesh government is scared of a folk song singer.
“When popular singer Neha Singh Rathore asked fearless questions to the UP government through her folk songs...the BJP government sent a notice to her house through the hands of the police.” Sisodia tweeted. “Is BJP so scared of the voice of a folk singer?”
Also read: ‘Democracy gives us the right to ask questions’: Neha Singh Rathore’s Bhojpuri tunes are going viral