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Daler Mehndi convicted for ‘human trafficking’; bail granted

Daler, on a trip to the US in the company of an actress, had allegedly 'dropped off' three girls at San Francisco; his brother and he had taken another troupe to the US in October 1999 in the company of some other actors during which three boys were 'dropped off' at New Jersey

Patiala: A court here today sentenced Punjabi pop singer Daler Mehndi to two-year imprisonment for his role in an immigration scandal in 2003.

He was held guilty under relevant sections of by the court of Judicial Magistrate first class Judge Nidhi Saini, counsel Gurpreet Singh Bhasin said.

A fine of Rs 1,000 was also imposed on the singer, he said.

The Patiala police had booked Daler Mehndi and Shamsher Mehndi on a complaint filed by one Bakshish Singh. Around 35 more complaints levelling charges of fraud against the brothers also came up later.

The complainants had alleged that the Mehandi brothers had taken ‘passage money’ from them to help them migrate to the US illegally, but failed to do so.

Singh alleged that the Punjabi singer had taken money for taking him to Canada.

It has been alleged that the Mehndi brothers took two troupes in 1998 and 1999 during the course of which 10 persons were taken to the US as group members and “dropped off” illegally.

Daler, on a trip to the US in the company of an actress, had allegedly “dropped off” three girls at San Francisco.

Both brothers had taken another troupe to the US in October 1999 in the company of some other actors during which three boys were “dropped off” at New Jersey.

The Patiala police had even raided the singer’s offices at Connaught Place in New and seized case files of those who had paid the Mehndi brothers passage money.

Minutes after the sentence, Mehndi was granted bail on a bond.

In 2006, Patiala Police filed two discharge petitions stating Daler Mehndi to be innocent, but the court had upheld that the singer be prosecuted as there was “sufficient evidence against him on the judicial file and scope for further investigation”.

Daler Mehndi had had a massive following in the late 1990s and early 2000s for his pop songs, including the hit numbers “Tunak Tunak Tun”, “Bolo Ta Ra Ra” and “Saade Naal Rahoge To…”.

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