Comedian Munawar Faruqui on Sunday said that he was not being allowed to work because of threats from Hindutva outfits, reported NDTV.

The comedian had on October 27 cancelled three of his shows in Mumbai after Hindutva groups reportedly threatened the organisers that they would burn down the venues.

“I get 50 threat calls daily, I had to change my SIM card thrice,” Faruqui told NDTV on Sunday. “When my number gets leaked, people call up and abuse me.”

Faruqui said that 1,500 people had booked tickets a month before the three shows in Mumbai. “This is a sad reality with which many people in this country are living,” the comedian said. “In my case, they use religion. That scares me.”

Hindutva groups have constantly targeted Faruqui since he was arrested in January in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city based on a complaint filed by the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party politician.

The complainant had alleged that the comedian was going to make objectionable statements about Hindu deities at his show.

However, people at the club where Faruqui was scheduled to perform had said that the police detained him before he had even begun his show. The Indore Police had later admitted that there was no visual evidence to show that Faruqui had insulted Hindu deities.

The comedian said that the Bajrang Dal had been targeting him by sharing 10-second video clips from a two-hour-long show. He added that the videos cannot be shown out of context.

After he was released, Faruqui said that he had performed in 50 shows, and during 90% of them he had been given a standing ovation as the audience does not care about his religion, reported NDTV.

Faruqui also pointed out that 80 people earn a living from one of his shows, but they had been without a job for the past one-and-a-half years. “Hate won, so the shows got cancelled,” he told NDTV. “But till when? We will win.”

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Comedian Munawar Faruqui cancels shows in Mumbai after threats from Hindutva groups