Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui

The Madhya Pradesh High Court rejected bail request for stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui on Thursday. Faruqui and his aide Nalin Yadav were arrested on January 2 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments during their show.

Acting on a complaint filed by Eklavya Singh Gaur, 36, son of a local BJP legislator, Gujarat-resident Munawar Faruqui was arrested earlier on January 2 along with four others for allegedly making indecent remarks against Hindu deities and against Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show held at a cafe in Indore on January 1.

According to Live Law, two bail pleas filed by Faruqui’s lawyers have been rejected. This is the third bail plea and the first one in the state’s high court, where on 25 January, Justice Rohit Arya said, “But why you take undue advantage of other’s religious sentiments and emotions. What is wrong with your mindset? How can you do this for the purpose of business?”

Faruqui’s bail plea was earlier rejected by a court in Madhya Pradesh on January 5. On January 13, Indore police chief Vijay Khatri acknowledged that there was no concrete evidence against Faruqui, but he defended his arrest.

Also Read: Court rejects bail to comic arrested for ‘insulting’ Hindu gods

“He is serial offender and often cracks defamatory jokes on Hindu gods and goddesses,” the complainant Gaur said on the day of the comedian’s arrest. “When I heard about Munawar’s show, I bought a ticket and went to see it. As expected, he was insulting Hindu deities and also mocked Home Minister Amit Shah by dragging his name with Godhra riots,” he added.

On January 14, Faruqui had moved Madhya Pradesh High court seeking bail. The matter was posted for hearing the next day. However, the plea was rejected then also. His judicial custody was extended till January 27.

Faruqui and his associates Edvin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav have been booked under IPC Sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person), 269 (Whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

Another FIR was filed against him in UP’s Allahabad on January 6 for charges of committing offences affecting communal harmony and hurting religious sentiments of people.

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