A court in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday rejected the bail applications of stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui and another accused who were arrested for allegedly insulting Hindu deities during a performance at a cafe in Indore, reported PTI. Faruqui had been arrested on January 1 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
This is the second time Faruqui’s bail plea has been turned down. On January 2, the court of chief judicial magistrate rejected the bail plea of the comedian, Nalin Yadav, Prakhar Vyas, Edwin Anthony and Priyam Vyas.
Additional District and Sessions Court judge Yatindra Kumar Guru rejected the bail plea of Faruqui and Yadav after hearing the arguments of both sides.
Anshuman Shrivastava, representing both the accused, said that the allegations against his clients were “vague” in nature. Faruqui and Yadav were booked under political pressure, Shrivastava alleged, adding that both of them were actors and their comments were not intended to hurt the religious feelings of any person.
Prosecutor Vimar Mishra told the court that indecent comments were made against Hindu deities during the event. He claimed that the remarks were “full of obscenity despite the presence of minor boys and girls among the audience”. The prosecutor added that both Faruqui and Yadav had taken part in an event without any permission from the local administration amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The complaint against Faruqui was filed by Eklavya Singh Gaur, the chief of Hindutva group Hind Rakshak Sangathan, according to reports. Gaur is the son of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Malini Gaur. Faruqui was also accused of making derogatory remarks about Shah, and of allegedly mocking the kar sevaks who were killed in the Godhra massacre of 2002.
Faruqui had also been allegedly roughed up by the members of the group Hind Rakshak Sangathan, who forcefully took him to the Tukoganj police station on Friday along with the organisers of the event.
The five accused were booked under sections section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and other related provisions of the Indian Penal Act.