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Chandigarh: YouTuber, associate arrested for mask violation, deterring police from discharge of duty

The arrests of YouTuber Karambir aka Karmu Patarkar and Dr Devinder Balhara triggered protests on social media and also outside the Sector 39 police station where they were kept throughout the night.

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
January 4, 2022 9:47:26 pm
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The Chandigarh police arrested two people — YouTuber Karambir aka Karmu Patarkar and his associate Dr Devinder Balhara — for allegedly refusing to wear masks in public amid tightening Covid-19 curbs and obstructing the police to discharge their duties at Sector 37 market on Monday night.

The arrests triggered protests on social media and also outside the Sector 39 police station where the two were kept throughout the night before being produced at a local court on Tuesday.

Scores of people, especially from Haryana, gathered outside the police station and later followed them to the court in Sector 43. The court remanded the duo to judicial custody.

Karambir aka Karmu Patarkar from Kaithal had hit the headlines through his intense reporting on the farmers’ protest against three farm laws. His associate Devinder Balhara hails from Karnal and currently stays in Panchkula.

Pardeep Hooda, state president of political party Lok Dal, said: “Devinder Balhara is a social reformer. He is a PhD holder. He spreads awareness against the myths. The police arrested him and Karmu Patarkar illegally. Karmu Patarkar was recording the events.”

Station house officer of Sector 39, inspector Juldan Singh said: “A team from the office of SDM (south) was issuing challans to people for not wearing masks at the Sector 37 market. Karambir, who introduced himself as Karmu Patarkar, and his colleague Dr Devinder Balhara were without masks. The police asked them to wear masks and they declined. The duo also did not allow the police to penalise them for the offence. We arrested them based on a complaint by one of the police team members.”

A case was registered under IPC Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and the two were sent to Model Burail Jail, said the police.

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