Indore SP justifies arrest saying it does not matter even if there is no video evidence against the comedian
NEW DELHI — Comedian Munawar Faruqui and his associate Nalin Yadav will have to spend another weekend in jail as the Madhya Pradesh High Court Friday adjourned their bail hearing due to non-availability of the police case diary.
Faruqi and Yadav have been arrested on allegations of making derogatory remarks on Hindu deities and violating Covid-19 pandemic rules during a stand-up show at a cafe in Indore city on New Year eve.
The bail was listed before Justice Rohit Arya but hearing could not be done due to non-availability of diary, a member of the legal team told Clarion India, even as their lawyer Anushman Shrivastav pleaded, in vain, that the police be asked to present the diary and hearing is reconvened in the afternoon session.
The next hearing is now expected to be held next week.
The failure of the prosecution to present the diary before the court is seen as a delaying tactic to extend the incarceration of the accused.
Reports citing police have said that there is no video evidence to show Faruqui made jokes insulting Hindu deities.
On Thursday (January 14) Article-14 website reported that the Superintendent of Police, Indore, Vijay Khatri, has admitted that no jokes were made about Hinduism in the show. The arrests were made merely on a complaint by Eklavya Guar, son of a local BJP leader.
But the SP still justified the arrest. “It didn’t really matter” weather jokes were cracked, he said, “But, we were told (by the complainants) that when they (comics) were rehearsing before the show, they were cracking jokes about Ram, Shivji.”
This, Khatri said, indicated intent, that they were going to joke about Hindu gods, the report said.
Faruqui and his four associates were arrested after Gaur made the complaint alleging that they made remarks insulting Hindu deities and criticizing Home Minister Amit Shah at a show in a cafe in Indore on Friday night.
However, eye witnesses have rejected the claims made by Gaur saying, “No derogatory remarks were made by Munawar Faruqui at the Indore show.”
Gaur and his men disrupted the show forcing Faruqui to stop his performance and complained to the police leading to arrest of Faruqui and others.
Subsequently, Sadakat Khan, a friend of Faruqui in Indore, was also arrested when he went to the court to see him. A video that has gone viral on social media shows a lawyer slapping Sadakat while he is being hauled by cops on a motorcycle.