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Published On: June 15, 2019 07:13 PM NPT By: Republica

Police arrests Pranesh Gautam again

Police arrests Pranesh Gautam again

Standup comedian, Pranesh Gautam who was released in a general date on Thursday night, was arrested again on Friday. Pranesh was arrested under cyber crime for his satirical review of ‘Birbikram-2’. Gautam was kept under custody after a case was filed against him at Kathmandu District Court under Electronic Transaction Act.

After filing the case, hearing was scheduled for Friday. But the case could not proceed citing the government lawyers’ absence. The hearing was postponed for Sunday. “I was not expecting that he will be arrested again after releasing in general date,” said Pranesh’s father Rishiraj Gautam. “But he was arrested next day. Police officials said once the case is filed a person cannot be left until and unless the case is solved.”

Police arrested Gautam a week ago after the director of the film Milan Chams filed a complaint. On the day of release, Gautam didn’t want to talk with media. Coordinator of Meme Nepal, Aadarsha Mishra said, “Mentally he is not ready to speak. He will be on media in a few days’ time.”

Director Chams filed a complaint n police for character racial slur and character assassination. Gautam, who was active in standup comedy for past two years, had done a satirical review of the film. According to Film Critics Society of Nepal, this was the ‘abstract way’ of reviewing movie. After receiving threat from Chams, Meme Nepal has removed the video from YouTube.  But police placed a case of Electronic Transaction Act on the basis of same review video.

Speaking with media while filing complaint against Gautam, Director Chams had said, “We are complaining because of the use of racial slurs and character assassination. The video has defamed Nepali film industry. That’s why we are here to complaint against the video.”  

After receiving complain, police filed a case against Pranesh on ‘Cyber Crime’, this become viral on social media like a wildfire. Several people outraged on social media and other platform for arresting Pranesh. People started stating that this was a misuse of administrational and legal authority, creating a huge public pressure. This led Gautam to be released in general date.

“This is misuse of power,” Lawyer, Baburam spoke about Pranesh’s arrest. Film Critics Society of Nepal released a press statement on Thursday mentioning that Pranesh’s arrest is a misuse of electronic transaction act. The society has asked to free Pranesh.

Politician Gagan Thapa also tweeted against Pranesh’s arrest, “absurdist humor is common all across the globe. Pranesh Gautam being arrested for reviewing movie in this style is misfortune and against freedom. Knowledge regarding criticism is a major pillar of democracy, this should be preserved.”

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