A Bangladeshi singer known for his out-of-tune renditions of popular songs has reportedly been directed by the police to stop singing, after complaints that he distorted some classics.

“Hero” Alom, 37, has around two million Facebook followers and 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube. The music he performs includes classical songs by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Bangladeshi poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Many of his videos have millions of views.

On 27 July, the Dhaka police detained Mr Alom and told him to stop distorting classical songs.

According to Harun-or-Rashid, chief of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, there were numerous cyber allegations against Mr Alom, reported The Daily Star.

Mr Rashid said the singer was brought in based on complaints that he was “distorting” songs, as well as wearing a police uniform in some videos.

He was let off after he reportedly told the police that he will not repeat such actions in future.

However, Mr Alom has alleged that he was mentally tortured by the police.

“The police picked me up at 6am and kept me there for eight hours,” he told AFP. “They asked me why I sing Rabindra and Nazrul songs.”

After his release, Mr Alom put out a new video that showed him behind bars in a prison uniform, singing a mournful song about how he was to be hanged.

“At present, it seems you can’t even sing with freedom in Bangladesh,” Mr Alom said.

His ordeal with the police has triggered outrage on social media, with Mr Alom receiving support from several journalists and activists.

“I am not a fan of your songs or your acting. But if there is an attempt to muzzle your voice, I stand up against it,” wrote journalist Aditya Arafat.

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