Comedian Munawar Faruqui’s show in Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru was cancelled on Sunday after the police wrote a letter to the organisers advising them against hosting a show by a “controversial figure”, India Today reported.
In an Instagram post, Faruqui suggested that he might not do any more shows.
“I think this is the end,” he wrote. “My name is Munawar Faruqui and that’s been my time. You guys were wonderful audience. Goodbye, I’m done.”
Over the past few months, the comedian’s shows have been cancelled in Raipur, Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Goa, and Mumbai as Hindutva groups have constantly targeted him 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 police had detained Faruqui before he started the Indore show. He was arrested on the basis of complaints about a purported joke that he had not even made. The complainant had alleged that the comedian was going to make objectionable statements about Hindu gods during the show.
Four others were arrested along with him on the same charges.
On Saturday, Faruqui shared his Instagram post on Twitter with the caption: “Nafrat jeet hai, Artist haar gaya[hatred won, an artist lost]. Im done! Goodbye! INJUSTICE.”
In his post, Faruqui said that the show had been cancelled due to “threats of vandalism”. The comedian added that he had a censor certificate for the show.
“Putting me in jail for the joke I never did to cancelling my shows, which has nothing problematic in it,” he said. “This is unfair. This show has gained so much love from people in India irrespective of their religion.”
Earlier on Saturday, the Bengaluru Police in a letter to the organisers of Faruqui’s show stated that Faruqui had made controversial statements about deities of other religions.
“There is credible information that several organisations are opposing this stand-up comedy show... this could create chaos and could disturb public peace and harmony, which may further lead to law and order problems,” the letter stated. “It is suggested you cancel Munawar Faruqui’s show at Good Shepherd auditorium.”
Hindu Jagruti Samiti spokesperson Mohan Gowda also opposed the show, according to NDTV. He claimed that he had approached the police commissioner against the show.
“Munawar Faruqui has used derogatory remarks against Hindus in his show in Indore and other places,” he said. “He has hurt sentiments.”
Meanwhile, Faruqui said that the show was cancelled because the venue organisers had received threats of vandalism. Such threats, Faruqui claimed, had led to the cancellation of 12 shows over two months.