Aaj News

Daler Mehndi’s last ‘tunak’ as Indian court upholds human trafficking sentence

The Tara Ra Ra singer was given a two-year sentence in 2018
Published 15 Jul, 2022 01:44pm
<p>PHOTO: Daler Mehndi Facebook</p>

PHOTO: Daler Mehndi Facebook

Indian police arrested popular Punjabi singer Daler Mehndi today in connection to a human trafficking case originally filed in 2003 after his appeal was dismissed by a Patiala court.

Mehndi shot to fame in 1998, with his hit single Tunak Tunak Tun, followed by Tara Ra Ra, songs that became wedding staples across India and Pakistan.

The singer and his brother first came under scrutiny after it was revealed that Mehndi and his brother were taking people abroad by declaring them as troupe members for shows but actually facilitating their trafficking.

He was originally sentenced to two years in 2018 but was released on bail.

Complaints from two decades ago accused Mehndi and his brother Shamsher Singh Mehndi of taking passage money to take people to Canada and the US, after declaring them as members of their performing team.

Some people were actually able to make it abroad, while others alleged that even though the brothers took money from them, they were never taken out of India.

One such disgruntled customer filed the case at a Patiala court in 2003. He said that the brothers took two troupes to the US in 1998 and 1999, which included ten people who were to illegally migrate.

The brothers took around Rs 3,407,718 from the complainant but never took him abroad or returned his money.

The Mehndi brothers were arrested a month after the FIR was filed and were immediately able to get out on bail. Both were charged under the Indian Penal Code’s sections for human trafficking and conspiracy and under the Indian Passport Act. At least 35 other complaints came forward when the case came to light.

Daler’s brother Shamsher died in 2017, while the trial was ongoing. In 2018, Daler was given a two-year jail term but was released on bail again, this time he also filed an appeal.

The appeal was rejected today along with his petition for bail. His request to be released on probation was also denied.

Perhaps owing to his celebrity status or involment in politics, the police had filed petitions saying they did not find sufficient evidence against the brothers in 2006. The court did not discharge the brothers, however, and directed the police to look for the evidence, which indeed existed.

It took almost 12 years to sentence the brothers and another four years to uphold the sentence.

india

Bollywood

canada

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USA

entertainment

daler mehndi

human trafficking

crimes

Patiala

brother

Shamsher Mehndi

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