Culture & Lifestyle
Rapper VTEN arrested for allegedly promoting ‘anti-social’ valuesThe rapper’s arrest comes just days after another singer, Durgesh Thapa, was taken into custody by the police for the same reason.
The Metropolitan Crime Division on Thursday arrested rapper Samir Ghising, popularly known as VTEN, on charges of promoting “values that go against social norms” through his songs.
Ghising’s arrest comes days after police arrested another singer, Durgesh Thapa, for allegedly promoting similar “anti-social values” in his recent song.
Rapper Ghising had become a cultural sensation after the release of his song, ‘Hami yestai ta ho ni bro’. The song, whose title has entered common parlance, has been viewed over 19 million times on Youtube in the four months since its release.
[Read: Rapper's arrest is latest in government's attempt to crack down on free expression]
Nepal Police spokesperson Deputy Inspector General Bishwaraj Pokharel, however, said that he was unaware of Ghising’s arrest. However, in the case of Thapa, Pokharel said that anyone who instigates others to commit illegal activities—in this case, smoke marijuana—can be asked to report to the police.
“The police are responsible for peace and security in society and we want to make sure that no one is damaging the religious, cultural or traditional harmony of society,” Pokharel told the Post. “Everyone must be aware of and responsible for that.”
Thapa, who is infamous for his controversial songs, had been called into the police station to ‘sort out the matter’, but he was taken into custody and only released after he publicly apologised and said that he would remove objectionable content from his Tihar song.
The police’s arrest of popular singers and comedians has been criticised by many for engaging in moral policing and detaining citizens without significant cause.
Freedom of speech and expression has come under heavy fire since the formation of the Nepal Communist Party government.
Earlier in February, another singer, Pashupati Sharma, was threatened by the sister organisation of the ruling party for his song, ‘Lootna sakey loot’, which was a satirical take on the corruption prevalent in Nepal’s public sector. The song, which had received an overwhelmingly positive response from listeners on social media and other platforms, was pulled from Youtube just 48 hours after its release.