Bail rejected, Munawar Faruqui to approach MP high court

Arrested stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui’s bail application has been dismissed by the sessions court on Tuesday and he will be moving a bail application before the Madhya Pradesh High Court Wednesday, said Faruqui’s lawyer.

Faruqui, performing artist Nalin Yadav and three others were arrested on Saturday on the complaint of a Hindu fringe group leader and son of a BJP MLA that “indecent” remarks were made against Hindu deities and Home Minister Amit Shah during a show held in Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Anshuman Shrivastava, the lawyer for Faruqui and Yadav, said that the allegations levelled against his clients are “vague” in nature.

He told news agency PTI that the duo was booked under political pressure.

Opposing the bail plea, prosecution lawyer Vimal Mishra said the accused had participated in the event for which no permission was taken from local administration amidst the pandemic.

Police had booked five accused under sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The comedian has been a target of right-wing groups since last year when one of his show got viral for its sharp comments.

Faruqui had also been allegedly roughed up by the members of the fringe group Hind Rakshak Sangathan, who forcefully took him to the Tukoganj police station on Friday along with the organisers of the event.

Meanwhile, several artists and rights activists spoke out against Faruqui’s arrest and demanded his immediate release.