A day after Munawar Faruqui announced his show in Hyderabad on August 20, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA T Raja Singh on Thursday threatened to burn down the venue and beat up the comedian, the Hindustan Times reported.
Hindutva groups and BJP leaders have constantly targeted Faruqui since he was arrested in January last year in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore on flimsy grounds.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Faruqui had announced his show in the Telangana capital. He did not specify the venue in his post.
Soon after, Singh, the BJP’s MLA from the state’s Goshamahal constituency, released a video message threatening to disrupt the show.
“Wherever the program is, we will go and beat him [Faruqui] up,” Singh said in the video, according to The News Minute. “Whoever offers him a venue, we will burn it down. If something goes wrong, KTR [Telangana minister KT Rama Rao] and the government and police are responsible. We will definitely beat him up and send him back if he comes to Telangana, this is a challenge.”
In December, Rao had invited Faruqui and another comedian Kunal Kamra to perform in Hyderabad. Back then, BJP MP Arvind Dharmapuri had threatened to stop the show. Eventually, the show had to be cancelled due to rise in coronavirus cases.
In November, Faruqui’s event in Bengaluru was also called off after the police warned the organisers against hosting a “controversial figure”. After this, Faruqui had indicated that he might quit performing stand-up comedy.
In January last year, Faruqui had been arrested from a venue in Indore based on a complaint filed by the son of a BJP leader 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 deities during the show.
The comedian spent 37 days in jail before the Supreme Court granted him bail.