Munawar Faruqui, the controversial ‘stand-up comedian’, who was arrested on Saturday by the Indore police along with four others for passing indecent remarks about Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show in the city, has been sent to judicial custody.
According to the reports, a local court in Indore 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.
Congress leader Anshumaan Shrivastava defends Faruqui
Advocate Anshumaan Shrivastava, representing Farooqui, claimed the FIR had been registered with a political motive and claimed that the accused had constitutional provisions of freedom of speech. Shrivastava is former Deputy Advocate General of Madhya Pradesh government and state spokesperson and secretary of legal cell of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee.
However, opposing bail applications, lawyer Dinesh Pandey said the show was held without the administration’s permission and it hurt religious feelings.
Kamlesh Sharma, the in-charge of Tukoganj police station said that a case was filed late on Friday night against Munawar Faruqui, a resident of Junagadh in Gujarat and four Indore-based persons based on a written complaint filed by Hindu activist Eklavya Singh Gaur.
हिन्दू देवी देवताओं का कथित तौर पर मज़ाक उड़ाने के आरोप में स्टैंड अप कमेडियन प्रियम प्रखर,मुनव्वर के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज, इंदौर के तुकोगंज में मामला दर्ज, @bjp4mp विधायक @GaurMalini के बेटे एकलव्य गौड़ पर मारपीट का भी आरोप @ndtv @ndtvindia @GargiRawat @riteshmishraht @kunalkamra88 pic.twitter.com/HQiL1624as— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) January 2, 2021
As per the complaint, ‘Comedian’ Munawar Faruqui had passed indecent remarks were passed against Hindu gods and goddesses and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the show, Sharma said. The other arrested persons were identified as Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav. The controversial comedy show was held at a cafe in 56 Dukan area of Indore on Friday.
The Madhya Pradesh police also picked up one of the accused to a police station on a motorbike on Saturday after a complaint was registered against the self-proclaimed comedians for making indecent comments on Hindu gods.
देवी देवताओं को अपशब्द कहने वाले व गृहमंत्री श्री अमित शाह जी के ख़िलाफ़ टिप्पणी करने वाले फ़ारूखी के साथी को कोर्ट में वकीलों ने रोका और ज़ोरदार धोया… pic.twitter.com/i8utQbNNWA— Sanyam Jain (@modivanibharat) January 2, 2021
All of them have been 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. Section 269 was invoked for allegedly ignoring COVID-19 safety protocol, the official said.
Hindu activists handed over Munawar Faruqui to the police
Eklavya Singh Gaur, an activist and the chief of Hindu Rakshak Sangathan, filed the complaint about the show after they had gone to watch the show. When they heard the “indecent” comments, they forced the organisers to stop the program.
The Hindu activist Gaur 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
During a show in April last year, Munawar Faruqui mocked the 2002 Godhra carnage where 58 Hindus returning from Ayodhya were burnt alive by a Muslim mob. In a part of the clip that had gone viral on social media, one can hear him refer 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’.
In a complaint filed with the police, Shivam Rawat, the founder of Pen of Dharma, he emphasised how the comments made by Faruqui hurt the sentiments of millions of Hindus including him. Rawat has stated how Faruqui 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).”