Indore, Madhya Pradesh
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission on February 8, 2021, regarding the wrongful arrest, misuse of law, and fabricated charges by MP police in the arrest of stand-up comic Mr. Munawar Faruqui. Mr. Faruqui is a stand-up comedian from Mumbai known for making satirical jokes against the government’s policies and politicians.
A group led by Mr. Eklavya Singh Gaur, chief of “Hindu Rakshak Sangthan” and son of a BJP MLA, assaulted Mr. Faruqui while he was performing at the Muroe Café in Indore on January 1, 2021, alleging that he was making fun of Hindu deities. He then filed a complaint against Mr. Faruqui at the Tukoganj Police station, Indore.
Mr. Faruqui along with Mr. Prakash Vyas, Mr. Nalin Yadav, Mr. Pratik Vyas, and Mr. Edwin Anthony were booked and arrested at 10.40 PM the same day.
The FIR mentioned that crass jokes were cracked against Hindu Gods and lewd comments were made against women present at the event. The allegations were denied by the audience present on the show and even the Superintendent of Police of Indore on 13th January made a statement in the media that the police didn’t have any evidence against Mr. Faruqui as the FIR claimed but still justified the arrest.
The arrest of Mr. Faruqui is a political act and misuse of the law by the MP police and assault on his freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. Mr. Faruqui got bail from the Supreme Court of India on February 5, 2021, after being denied bail by local and high courts thrice.