Row over ‘anti-Dalit’ song: Day after singer Sapna Choudhary’s suicide bid, charges and counter-charges

In a five-page suicide note, Sapna Choudhary blamed Satpal Tanwar, a social activist for accusing her of singing a song with words that allegedly denigrated Dalits during a stage show in Gurgaon.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:September 6, 2016 4:58 am

A DAY after renowned Haryanvi folk singer Sapna Choudhary attempted to commit suicide, allegedly after being harassed on social media for singing a song with “anti-Dalit” lyrics, more claims and counter-claims were made Monday by both sides.

While Choudhary’s family alleged that Satpal Tanwar, the social activist whom she blamed in her suicide note of harassing her, began his campaign after attempts at blackmailing the family failed, Tanwar claimed that her family engineered an attack on his outside the Gurgaon police commissioner’s office today. Tanwar filed a police complaint.

Choudhary had consumed rat poison at her house in southwest Delhi sometime late Saturday night and was found
frothing at the mouth early Sunday — she lives with her mother and brother. She was admitted in a Delhi hospital, and is stated to be stable.

In a five-page suicide note, Choudhary blamed Tanwar for accusing her of singing a song with words that allegedly denigrated Dalits during a stage show in Gurgaon this February. He then allegedly began a “negative campaign” against her on social media, according to Choudhury’s note. In her suicide note, Choudhary also alleged that Tanwar used derogatory language against her online and cast “aspersions” on her character.

Raising objections to the lyrics, Tanwar had lodged a police complaint. An FIR was registered at Sector 29 police
station in Gurgaon under provisions of Prevention of Atrocities (SC/ST) Act in July.

Tanwar today called her suicide attempt a “bid to evade legal action” in the case after having moved an anticipatory bail plea.

Choudhary’s brother Karan said, “After getting an FIR registered against Sapna, Tanwar started blackmailing us.
When we did not succumb to his pressure, he started this malicious online campaign. Sapna is unconscious and is
admitted in the ICU.”

Tanwar carried out the online campaign against Choudhary under the aegis of Bahujan Maha Kranti Manch, and was to organise a programme at Ambedkar Bhawan in Gurgaon on Sunday seeking punishment for Choudhary.

Since her attempt to suicide, online support for Choudhary is rising, and Tanwar’s Facebook account is filled with messages condemning him.