Munawar Faruqui, a stand-up comedian from Gujarat was arrested along with four others after the son of a BJP MLA and leader of a local Hindu fringe group complained against them for alleged remarks made against Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show at Indore in Madhya Pradesh, reported PTI.
All of them were booked under IPC sections 295-A (outraging religious feelings), 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other relevant provisions.
The other arrested persons were identified as Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav.
Local court rejected their bail applications today.
All have been sent to three days judicial custody.
As per the compliant by BJP MLA’s son Eklavya Singh Gaur, indecent remarks were passed against Hindu gods and goddesses and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the show.
During the show, Faruqui got harassed and beaten up by members of local Hindu fringe group Hind Rakshak who were gathered at the venue to stop his show.
The comedian has been a target of right-wing groups since last year when one of his show got viral for its sharp comments.
Gaur is also the convener of Hind Rakshak.
“It is fascinating, how the people who beat him up are roaming around free while he’s put in the police station. It is even more fascinating, how Indore is a city that is a fertile space for budding artistic talents and performing arts, and such brazen attacks are made,” poet and writer Hussain Haidry said.
Haidry also shared a video on Twitter which showed one of the persons arrested along with Munawar Faruqui getting abused and beaten up by the Hindutva activists in front of the police.
“In a normal functioning democracy, the goons who beat him up should have been arrested, and not Munawar. But this is new India. We must stand with Munawar and against this culture where a group like Hind Raksha Sangathan forcefully enters a show, beats up the artists and the audience, and pressurises the local police to arrest the artists,” poet Kaushik Raj responded.
Actor Swara Bhasker also expressed her concern about Faruqui’s arrest.
“Let’s face it, Munawwar Farouqi is in jail first because of who he is, and then because of what he says,” poet Iqra tweeted.