Bengaluru DJ arrested for manhandling customer who requested Kannada song

The DJ reportedly manhandled a customer who had questioned why their repeated requests to play a Kannada song were ignored.
Representative image of a disc jockey (DJ)
Representative image of a disc jockey (DJ)
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A DJ (disc jockey) at a popular pub in Bengaluru’s Koramangala was arrested by the police on Sunday, February 6, for allegedly assaulting a customer who requested that he play a Kannada song. The incident took place at Badmaash pub in Koramangala, and the DJ who has been arrested by the police has been identified as Siddharth Mehrotra. 

According to a report in The New Indian Express, a group of friends had gone to the pub for a birthday celebration, when one of them asked DJ Siddharth to play a Kannada song. Though he accepted, the DJ did not play the song and at 12.30 am, he stopped the music without playing any Kannada songs. When the group went up to the DJ to ask him why he had not obliged their request, Siddharth allegedly behaved rudely with the group and tried to assault one of them. This is when the staff intervened and tried to resolve the situation. 

Speaking to the media, Sumeetha, who was part of the group that requested the song, said that they made multiple requests to the DJ to play one Kannada song. “When the DJ began to wrap up at 12.30 am, we asked him why he did not play the Kannada song. The DJ did not know Kannada properly. He told us if we didn’t like the music, we can leave. So my cousin told him you can't talk to a woman like this. Within 5 minutes, he came to the table where we were sitting and held my cousin's collar.”

“They kept saying two minutes, two minutes, we will play it. They played songs in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English but the DJ kicked up a row over one Kannada song. So we obviously got hurt. How can it be that we can't listen to one Kannada song being in Karnataka?” Sunitha said, adding that the DJ told them that the police would shut down the pub if music is played beyond 12.30 am.

Sumeetha’s cousin, Kishore, who was allegedly manhandled by the DJ, said, “The DJ came to our table and tried to hold my collar. For around 2.5 hours, we requested him to play a Kannada song. But the whole time, they didn't play a single Kannada song.”

The group did not lodge a formal complaint, but the Koramangala police registered an FIR after another customer who was also present at the pub filed a complaint, TNIE reports. 

After the incident, a group of around four to five Kannada activists staged a small protest outside the pub. A video shows one of the activists animatedly scolding the manager of the pub over the incident.

TNIE reports that the DJ has been arrested under charges of assault, wrongful restraint, and criminal intimidation. The pub has apologised for the incident and has given an assurance that Kannada songs will be played in the future.

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