Hyderabad: BJP MLA threatens to burn down venue of Munawar Faruqui’s show

A day after standup performer Munawar Faruqui announced his show in Hyderabad on August 20, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA and controversial Hindutva politician T Raja Singh on Thursday threatened to burn down the venue and beat up the comedian.

Hindutva groups and politicians have constantly targeted the Muslim artist since he was arrested in January last year in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore.

BJP’s MLA from the state’s Goshamahal constituency, released a video message threatening to disrupt the show soon after Faruqui had announced his show in the Telangana capital.

“Wherever the program is, we will go and beat him [Faruqui] up,” Singh said in the video.

“Whoever offers him a venue, we will burn it down. If something goes wrong, KTR [Telangana minister KT Rama Rao] and the government and police are responsible. We will definitely beat him up and send him back if he comes to Telangana, this is a challenge.”

Over the last one year, Faruqui’s shows have been cancelled in Bengaluru, Gurugram, Raipur, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Goa and Mumbai due to the disruptions from Hindutva groups.

In January last year, Faruqui had been arrested from Indore based on a complaint filed by the son of a BJP leader about a purported joke that he had not even made. The Muslim comedian spent 37 days in jail before the Supreme Court granted him bail.

In December, Rao had invited Faruqui and another comedian Kunal Kamra to perform in Hyderabad. Back then, BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri had threatened to stop the show. However, the show had to be cancelled due to rise in COVID-19 cases.