On Sunday, 3 January, the Indore Police said that they do not have any video evidence to show that stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui insulted Hindu deities during his performance at a cafe in the city, as per a report by The Indian Express. Faruqui was arrested on Friday, 1 January, along with four event organisers, for allegedly “insulting” Home Minister Amit Shah and Hindu deities.
Kamlesh Sharma, the town inspector of Tukaganj Police Station, told the publication that the video submitted by the complainant showed another comedian cracking jokes about Lord Ganesh.
“There’s no evidence against him (Munawar Faruqui) insulting Hindu deities or Home Minister Amit Shah".Kamlesh Sharma, town inspector
An eyewitness, Agnes, took to Instagram to narrate what happened at the show that night. She wrote, "As soon as Munawar got the spotlight 'someone-with-political-connection' along with his 'friends' who were apparently in the 'audience' started getting up and coming towards the stage, and I heard a very rude 'chup chaap wahan baith jaa (sit there silently)' probably to the organizers, from the entrance side, and the 'Political-connection-guy' took the mic and started talking about his religious sentiments getting hurt".
Agnes wrote that Munawar didn't even start performing when the person took over the stage. "But in reality, he made no derogatory remarks at all, his jokes neither made fun of the Hindu faith nor Islam. Munawar very politely, in soft-spoken manner clarified that he never had the intention to hurt anyone and invited them to sit along and watch his show. The situation was well handled by Munawar. The 'friends' crowd dispersed, few men stayed back".
Agnes added that Munawar's set was about him travelling to Delhi to attend a friend's wedding and he never targeted any religion. She also wrote that the comedian had barely performed for five minutes when the 'friends/goons' gathered outside and the show had to be cancelled as the owner backed out.
She ended her message by reiterating that no 'derogatory comments' were made by Munawar Faruqui.
As per a report by NDTV, the case against Faruqui was filed on a complaint by Eklavya Gaur, son of a BJP MLA and convenor of the Hind Rakshak Sangathan.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)