Daler Mehndi sentenced to 2 years of jail for smuggling migrants abroad

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Image source: indiatoday.com

Daler Mehndi, a popular Indian pop singer, has been sentenced to 2 years of jail in the 2003 human trafficking case by the Patiala Court on Friday, March 16. Though, he was soon released on bail. He sang in several bollywood movies but is best known for his Bhangra pop music videos with the traditional essence of Punjabi dance tunes.

He was popular during 1990’s and early 2000’s with a huge fan following both in India and abroad. His debut album sold over 20 million copies. He has given stage performances in approximately 18 countries including US, UK and Singapore. He is also known for his diamond studded turban, the long flying robe, a unique strong voice and energetic performances.

According to Daler Mehndi, his first name was taken from a fictitious character in vintage bollywood film, Daku Daler Singh and his second name has been taken from the legendary Pakistani singer, Pervez Mehndi. He rose to fame with his most popular song Bolo Ta Ra. Some of his other popular songs include Dardi Rab Rab, Ho Jayegi Balle and many others.

What is 2003 Human Trafficking case?

Daler Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Singh along with five others were accused of cheating people of large sums of money by falsely promising to take them to Western Countries. In 1998 and 1999, he allegedly took almost 10 people to the West disguised as dancers in his ensemble and returned back without them. When the Punjab police registered the case against him back in 2003, 35 other also accused him of the fraud. They said he had taken money from them by luring to take them abroad but did not fulfil his deal and also failed to return their money.

According to the report by Tribune, when Daler Mehndi was first arrested for the human trafficking case, the police asked him to remove his pants as part of an important formality, where the identification marks of the accused are recorded for further investigations. In an interview later, he affirmed the news. He also said that this whole incident happened in front of my lawyer and the police did not pay any heed to his (lawyers) objections. He terms the act as “inhumane and insulting.” Daler with a heavy heart said that the police officials forced him to sing some of their favourite songs as they told me they were my fans and wanted to hear my voice.
The accused had denied all the allegations and has said will appeal the conviction in the Higher Court for the same as he is not satisfied by the Patiala Court’s recent judgement and will seek for justice.