Munawar Faruqui, the stand-up comedian who was arrested on January 1 from an Indore show for allegedly making indecent remarks on Hindu deities and Home Minister Amit Shah, continues to stay in judicial custody till January 22 after the police failed to produce the case diary in Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday.
On January 1, Faruqui was performing at The Monroe Cafe along with three other Indore-based comedians Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav. Soon after Faruqui got on stage to perform his set, associates of local BJP legislator Malini Laxman Singh Gaur’s son Aklavya Gaur Singh, who claims to be the head of a youth organisation named Hind Rakshak, went on stage and disrupted the show.
In his complaint, Aklavya Gaur Singh said that Faruqui had hurt religious sentiments and made indecent remarks about Hindu deities and against the Union Home Minister. While speaking to Silverscreen India, an audience member said that though Faruqui was patiently talking to Aklavya Singh Gaur and requested him to watch the show, the MLA’s son stopped him from performing, created a ruckus and called the police. He also mentioned that Faruqui and other audience members were manhandled, beaten and slapped in the presence of the Tukoganj Police.
Aklavya Singh Gaur had initially said that he had submitted video evidence of Faruqui making jokes on Hindu deities during the Indore show, but later the Thana incharge of Tukoganj police station said that the video submitted by the complainant were old videos of the comedian from his YouTube channel.
On Thursday, Superintendent of Police Vijay Khatri told news portal Article 14 that while Faruqui made no such jokes, there were “oral evidence” from the complainant who claimed that he overheard the comedian’s rehearsal jokes and that he was “going to” perform them. Khatri praised Aklavya Singh Gaur and his associates for being “active and alert”.
Faruqui and the other co-accused had initially applied for bail on January 2, which was rejected by the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate. They had then filed a bail plea that was rejected for the second time by the Additional District and Sessions Court judge Yatindra Kumar Guru on January 5. The judicial custody of Faruqui and the other co-accused was extended till Wednesday, after which the stand-up comedian approached the Madhya Pradesh High Court for bail.