Avdhesh Dubey, a hawker from Gujarat, who was arrested for mimicking politicians while selling toys in trains, has been finally released on bail late Monday evening. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) arrested Dubey from the Surat Railway station on May 31, after a video purportedly showing him mimicking and mocking a host of politicians went viral on social networking sites. The six-minute-long video shows the railway hawker doing a parody of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Following his arrest, Dubey was sentenced to 10 days jail term by a Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Surat, but walked a free man on Monday after Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma personally intervened into the matter. The move comes amid a huge uproar with support pouring in for Dubey from different quarters of the society. Sharma, the Surat city police chief, too was saddened to hear the news of Avdhesh's arrest and decided to help the man.
Speaking to the Times of India, Sharma said, "It is a very petty offence and Dubey being very poor was unable to pay Rs 3,500 fine slapped by the court". According to RPF officials Dubey’s family did not have money to hire a lawyer for bail and, therefore, was provided financial aid to get an early release on humanitarian grounds.
Avdhesh was found guilty of offences under several sections of Railway Act, including section 44 (prohibition on hawking and begging), 145 B (spreading nuisance or using abusive language in railway carriage), 147 (unlawful entry into train), among others.
Dubey, who found it hard to believe the news about his bail, told The Indian Express, "I had an impression that I will not see my family members and children for 10 days, till June 8. I was worried for my family. Suddenly on Monday night, the jail authorities came to my barrack and told me that I have been granted bail. I was shocked".
"How could this happen? Who would have done this? Immediately, I got dressed and came out from the barrack. The jail guard took me to the office where I met Surat police officials who had helped me get the bail. They took me to the office of Police Commissioner, and for the first time I saw a Police Commissioner (Satish Sharma) in front of me. I thanked him. He too was happy," he went on to describe further.
Being asked about his future plans, the hawker said, "Comedy is in built in me, and I want to explore it through television shows, so that many people could watch me perform. I have spoken to some of the people who have assured to help me in this new venture. Now, everybody knows me by my name, and I feel like a celebrity. I am thankful to Surat police".
Dubey, who hails from Uttar Pradeh's Varanasi, had migrated to Gujarat's Valsad two years ago. Since then, he has been selling toys to train passengers travelling between Vapi and Surat.