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Racial slur case: Arunachal court grants bail to Punjab YouTuber

Punjab-based YouTuber Paras Singh was arrested on May 26 by a Special Investigating Team (SIT) of Arunachal Pradesh, with the help of Ludhiana police, following which he was brought to Itanagar.

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati |
Updated: June 11, 2021 10:17:34 pm
From left to right: Punjab YouTuber Paras Singh and Congress MLA and former Union minister Ninong Ering.

An Arunachal Pradesh court Friday granted bail to Ludhiana-based YouTuber Paras Singh, over two weeks after he was arrested for making allegedly racist remarks against Congress MLA and former Union Minister Ninong Ering.

The bail is subject to Singh furnishing a personal bond of Rs 10,000.

The 21-year-old YouTuber has now been released from judicial custody and will go back to Ludhiana, said Arunachal Pradesh Director General Police RP Upadhyaya.

Singh was arrested on May 26 by a special team of the Arunachal Pradesh Police with the help of the Ludhiana Police. He was then brought to Itanagar.

Earlier that week, Singh had uploaded a video commenting on Ering’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a ban on a mobile game ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India’. Singh commented on Ering’s appearance saying he did not “look Indian” and claimed that Arunachal Pradesh was not a part of India but China. This sparked widespread outrage in Arunachal Pradesh and the North-East region.

Ering filed an FIR on May 24 saying Singh had made “racist comments” and “hurt the sentiments of Northeast and especially Arunachal Pradesh”.

The incident later triggered a Twitter storm with more than 30 organisations from the North-East demanding that the region’s history and culture be included in the NCERT curriculum.

Singh was subsequently booked under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc), 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for “inciting ill will and hatred” against the people of Arunachal Pradesh.

He spent one day in police custody, following which he was remanded in judicial custody. While in police custody, Singh was given geography lessons on the state. “We made him aware about Arunachal Pradesh, its geography, its culture, to give him knowledge about the state,” said DGP Upadhyay.

Singh runs two YouTube channels—‘Paras Official’ with 4.60 lakh followers and ‘Tech Guru Hindi’ with 5.30 lakh followers.

His mother Chanda Devi is a homemaker and his father died a few years ago. He has a sister who is married. The family hails from Katihar, Bihar, and they had migrated to Ludhiana for work. His father used to work as a driver.

Following the controversy – Singh as well as his mother – had uploaded an apology video.

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