Home Current Affairs Indore standup comedian Munawar Faruqui arrested for allegedly making incandescent remarks on...

Indore standup comedian Munawar Faruqui arrested for allegedly making incandescent remarks on Hindu deities, gets bail

Munawar Faruqui arrested almost a month back and was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on Friday. Although his bail has been granted by the SC, people are vehemently questioning the grounds on which he was arrested.

Since the beginning of this year, popular standup comedian Munawar Faruqui has been in the headlines. On January 1, Faruqui got arrested for making objectionable remarks and offensive jokes on Hindu deities and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Munawar Faruqui’s arrest:

According to reports, Munawar Faruqui apparently delivered incandescent remarks against the Hindu deities and Amit Shah which had allegedly hurt the religious sentiments of his audience, which eventually led to his arrest after a legal complaint was filed against him by Eklavya Singh Gaud, the son of BJP MP.

His bail was rejected more than twice on the grounds of alleged incandescent jokes on Hindu gods and goddesses while making puns on Home Minister Amit Shah.

Faruqui was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on Friday, almost after a month of being under judicial custody of Madhya Pradesh judicial administration. Although his bail has been granted by the Supreme Court (SC), people are vehemently questioning the grounds on which he was arrested.

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Image- Facebook

The curious case of Munawar Faruqui:

The 30-year-old standup comedian hails from the Junagadh district of Gujarat. Faruqui was a victim of the Gujarat riots when he was a mere kid. Currently located in Indore, he was also arrested from Indore.

A timeline of Faruqui’s arrest:

  • On January 1, Munawar Faruiqui along with Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav, was arrested by the police based on the complaint filed by Eklavya Singh Gaud, the son of BJP MP, against the five of them for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
  • Faruqui was accused of making indecent remarks against Hindu deities at his comedy show in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

  • On January 1, a standup comedy show was organised at Munro Cafe, Indore, where the accused had apparently made indecent remarks against Hindu deities and Home minister Amit Shah that led to the complainant filing the case against them.
  • The five people were booked under IPC Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), Section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other relevant provisions, while also being accused of organising the standup comedy show while violating the COVID-19 protocols.
  • Post the registration of the FIR against them, the applicants had approached Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Indore. The magistrate court and the sessions court had rejected their bail application. As reported by the PTI, the district court had sent Faruqui and four others to judicial custody till January 13.
  • During the hearing in lower courts, the prosecution opposed their bail application and said the show was organised amid the pandemic without permission. Their lawyers said the cases filed against them are ‘vague’ and registered due to political pressure, reported the news agency.
  • On January 14, Faruqui had moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court after being in jail for two weeks.
  • The High Court on January 25 had reserved its order on the bail application.
  • On January 28, the High Court bench of Justice Rohit Arya again rejected the bail plea of the accused citing the ongoing investigation, materials seized and statements of witnesses.

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The judge marked in the order that, “There is also a specific assertion by the learned counsel for the complainant that the applicant along with other co-accused persons allegedly making outraging filthy jokes in social media deliberately against Hindu Gods, Lord Shriram and Goddess Sita hurting religious sentiments of Hindus for the last 18 months despite, protest on various social media platforms. There is nothing on record to the contrary.”

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Imaghe- YouTube

Faruqui’s bail pleadings:

Anshuman Shrivastava, the lawyer for Faruqui and Yadav, said on Tuesday that the allegations levelled against his clients are “vague” in nature. He said the duo was booked under political pressure. He said Faruqui and others are actors and didn’t make any comment that hurt the religious feelings of any person.

The case was initially heard by Madhya Pradesh High Court which declined him bail saying, “liberty of a person has to be balanced with his duties towards other citizens.” He was accused of passing “indecent” remarks about Hindu deities during a show. Faruqui later moved a writ petition before the top court challenging Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order denying him bail.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice RF Nariman also issued a notice to the Madhya Pradesh government on Faruqui’s plea challenging the High Court order refusing to grant regular bail to him. In the proceedings conducted through video conferencing, the bench, also comprising Justice BR Gavai, stayed the production warrant issued against the comedian in a separate case lodged in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.

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Image- Facebook

Munawar Faruqui got arrested: What the industry has to say

Faruqui’s arrest brings out a lot of questions and doubts on the aspects of “Freedom of Speech” in this country and the “Right to Liberty”. Many people have been commenting on the limitations to the exercise of both these rights, followed by the terms and conditions applied to them.

Standup comedians have always been in a vulnerable position, where they never know how a single joke can create havoc in their life. Be it comedian Kunal Kamra or Vir Das or Tanmay Bhat or Munawar Faruqui, standup comedians have made it to the headlines somehow by getting caught in a controversial situation.

Comedian Vir Das in an apparent reference to Faruqui’s arrest, tweeted, “Asking for a friend. Jokes about God are wrong, got it. But jokes about people who get upset about jokes about God are cool right?”

On the other hand, Comicstaan Season 1 winner, Samay Raina has been actively vocal about Faruqui’s arrest, questioning time and again the presumptions of his arrest.

Although the absence of strong evidence and the labelling of the produced evidence by the police as ‘vague’, Faruqui was denied bail. Faruqui’s father-in-law, Younis Khan, confirmed that the former had not performed before the audience, alleging that the FIR against him was lodged by Indore Police under pressure from the son of a BJP MLA.

“We all are relieved that he (Faruqui) has not only been granted interim bail in the Indore case, but the arrest warrant issued in the old case of UP’s Prayagraj district also has been stayed by the top court,” Khan informed the media.

“Even the audience at the New Year Day comedy show in Indore had said that he (Faruqui) hadn’t even performed at the show, where he is alleged to have made the offensive remarks about Hindu deities. He was only present there,” alleged Khan.

Anwesha Mishra
Anwesha hails from Odisha and is pursuing her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Ravenshaw University. She is a voracious reader and a writer. Apart from that, she's also a singer.

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