Two shows by comedian Munawar Faruqui in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur scheduled for November 14 were cancelled after Hindutva groups threatened the organisers, people familiar with the situation said.
On Monday, the Bajrang Dal sent a letter to the police asking for the show to be stopped. The letter alleged that Faruqui mocks Hindu gods Ram, Sita and Shiva, and the kar sevaks who died in the Godhra train fire in Gujarat in 2002.
The letter also said that if the police did not stop the show then the Bajrang Dal would stop the show themselves. The administration would be responsible for this, according to the letter, which Scroll.in has reviewed.
Leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad also met senior police officials on Monday to demand that the shows be cancelled. “Faruqui mocked our gods in past and such anti-Hindu people should not be permitted in the capital,” Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Santosh Chaudhary told the Hindustan Times. “And if the administration permits, it will be the administration’s responsibility because we will stop the programme in our own way.”
Faruqui has been the target of Hindutva groups over the last year.
In January, the comedian was arrested in Indore on the basis of a complaint filed by the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party politician. The police detained him before he started the show, as the complainant alleged that the comedian was going to make objectionable statements about Hindu gods.
Four others were arrested along with him on the same charges.
In September, he was scheduled to perform in Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara – all of which got cancelled because of threats from Hindutva groups.
On October 27, three shows by Faruqui in Mumbai were cancelled after Hindutva groups threatened the organisers. Members of the Bajrang Dal had threatened to burn the venues down if Faruqui’s performance went ahead.