Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui was denied bail by the magistrate court. Chief judicial magistrate Aman Singh Bhuria extended Faruqui’s remand by two weeks, on Wednesday.
Munawar was beaten and arrested in Indore at his comedy show at a cafe in 56-Dukan on 1 January. The police arrested the comedian and four others on the complaint of Eklavya Singh Gaud, son of local BJP MLA Malini Gaud.
Munawar Faruqui, who hails from Gujarat has been accused of making indecent remarks on Hindu deities. However, no evidence against him has been presented in the public domain yet. “Munawar Faruqui didn’t joke about Hindu deities, but it doesn’t matter”, said Superintendent of Police Vijay Khatri.
Faruqui’s house was burnt during Gujarat riots and he did odd jobs for a living until he got established as a comedian. He is not the first comedian who has been targeted for hurting religious sentiments, but surely he’s the one facing harsher treatment. Article 19(a) of the Indian constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression, though 19(b) imposes reasonable restrictions, the grounds for Faruqui’s arrest are nowhere to be found.
The country is witnessing the denial of fundamental rights with a blind and mute face. He legally didn’t break any law and has been arrested for practising his rights. In a video of the event’s evening, Faruqui was seen trying to explain his side of the argument to one of the men who interrupted his show. Faruqui argued that earlier he has also joked on his religion too and does not intend to target or hurt any religion. Though police accepted of lack of any solid evidence against the comedian, Faruqui will have to remain under judicial custody till 27 January.
— Kashif Kakvi (@KashifKakvi) January 3, 2021