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On a day India talks about the brutal murder of Rinku Sharma, ‘artists’ and ‘activists’ demand justice for Munawar Faruqui

'Stand-up comic' Munawar Faruqui, along with four others identified as Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav, was arrested for mocking Hindu Gods in a stand-up comedy show in Indore

Nearly 100 ‘artists’ and ‘writers’, including far-left anti-India propagandist Arundhati Roy, former Bollywood entertainers Swara Bhasker and Kalki Koechlin have demanded dismissal of all charges registered against alleged stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui and four others for making derogatory statements targeting Hindus and their deities.

“As artists and concerned individuals, we are alarmed that in a country that claims to be the world’s largest democracy, a stand-up artist was imprisoned for over a month, and faces serious criminal charges, for no crime,” the statement signed controversial self-proclaimed writers and artists. 

The statement has also been signed by Rajmohan Gandhi, Mallika Sarabhai, Pooja Bhatt, Shonali Bose, Anand Patwardhan. A few members claiming to be ‘comedians’ including Kunal Kamra, Sanjay Rajoura, Anuvab Pal, Prashasti Singh, Aravind SA, Urooj Dingankar and Anirban Dasgupta, have also signed in favour of accused Faruqui.

Some ‘authors’ Amitava Kumar and Tanya Selvaratnam, Canadian filmmaker John Greyson, filmmaker Shruti Rya Ganguly, UK-based architect Sofia Karim, and feminist activist from Brazil, Sonia Corrêa have also jumped in support of Munawar Faruiqui, who is accused of hurting religious sentiments of Hindus.

The statement comes on a day when the national consciousness was shattered by the brutal murder of Bajrang Dal activist Rinku Sharma. He was allegedly murdered over arguments related to his donation drive for the construction of the Bhavya Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.

Munawar Faruqui and four others arrested for mocking Hindus, released on bail

‘Stand-up comic’ Munawar Faruqui, along with four others identified as Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav, was arrested for mocking Hindu Gods in a stand-up comedy show in Indore based on the complaint of Eklavya Singh Gaur, an activist and the chief of Hindu Rakshak Sangathan.

They 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. Section 269 was invoked for allegedly ignoring COVID-19 safety protocol. Faruqui was sent to judicial custody till January 13 which was later extended to January 27.

He was released from the Indore Central Jail late in the night on February 6 after he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court.

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.

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