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Madhya Pradesh: Court denies bail to controversial ‘comedian’ Munawar Faruqui and another accused of hate speech against Hindu deities

Prosecution lawyer Vimal Mishra said both the accused had participated in the event for which no permission was taken from the local authorities amidst the pandemic.

An Additional District and Sessions court in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday denied bail to controversial ‘stand-up’ comedian Munawar Faruqui and another accused who were arrested for making derogatory remarks against Hindu deities and Home Minister Amit Shah during a show held in Indore.

According to the reports, Additional District and Sessions Court judge Yatindra Kumar Guru, hearing the petition filed by the accused, rejected the bail plea.

Opposing the bail plea, prosecution lawyer Vimal Mishra said both the accused had participated in the event for which no permission was taken from the local authorities amidst the pandemic. Mishra said indecent remarks were made against Hindu deities at the event that “full of obscenity despite the presence of minor boys and girls among the audience”.

Meanwhile, Anshuman Shrivastava, the lawyer for Faruqui and Yadav, claimed that the allegations levelled against his clients are “vague” in nature. He said the duo was booked under political pressure.

Earlier, a local court in Indore had rejected the bail pleas of the accused and sent them in judicial custody. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Aman Singh Bhuria refused to grant bail to Faruqui and other four and remanded them in judicial custody till January 13.

The Madhya Pradesh police had arrested five stand-up comedians for insulting Hindu gods and goddesses in Indore on January 1. The arrested comedians include Munawar Faruqui, Edvin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav.

They were arrested after a Hindu activist group had filed an FIR against them, accusing the alleged comedians of passing vile and disgraceful remarks against Hindu Gods, Goddesses and customs.

Hindu activists handed over Munawar Faruqui to the police

Eklavya Singh Gaur, an activist and the chief of Hindu Rakshak Sangathan, had filed the complaint after watching the show. They had filed the complaint after they heard the “indecent” comments, leading them to force the organisers to stop the program.

The Hindu activist Gaur had also submitted video footage of the show. Gaur had said he and his friends went to watch the show where Faruqui was performing as the main comedian.

“The show mocked Hindu deities by passing indecent comments. The Godhra incident and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were also mentioned inappropriately. We shot a video and stopped the show by taking the audience out of the cafe. Then we caught the comedians and organizers of the show and took them to Tukoganj police station,” the Hindu activist said.

Gaur also said that no physical distancing was maintained at the venue and the show had no permission from authorities. At least 100 viewers were sitting in the small hall of the cafe, he said. Gaur denied media reports that Faruqui was beaten up by the activists of Hind Rakshak.

Munawar Faruqui on 2002 Godhra Carnage, Amit Shah and Hindu Gods

Munawar Faruqui, during a show in April last year, had ridiculed the 2002 Godhra carnage where 58 Hindus returning from Ayodhya were burnt alive by a Muslim mob. In a show, Faruqui had referred to the carnage as a fictional film ‘directed’ by Amit Shah and ‘produced’ by RSS.

“I was watching The Burning Train on TV. My father came and told me not to watch such nonsense and turned off the channel. I was like, ‘why so?’ He was like this is the video of Godhra kaand. And this is a news channel. I thought it is a movie directed by Amit Shah, produced by RSS… I don’t know…,” he said. Munawar Faruqui then referred to the news about 2002 Godhra carnage as ‘cartoon’.

A complaint was also filed against Faruqui after he had used Bollywood songs to make crass, disrespectful remarks on Hindu gods and belief system. He also pointed out how he mocked the brutal massacre of Hindus in the Godhra carnage by claiming, “Marney ke baad jaltay hai na? (Hindus get burnt anyway after death).”

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