HYDERABAD – About 50 activists of BJP and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) were arrested by the police for trying to disrupt the show of comedian Munawar Faruqui in Hyderabad on Saturday evening.
The activists tried to head towards Shilpa Kala Vedika, the venue of the show, but were stopped by policemen. Raising slogans, the protesters tried to break the police cordon and barge into the venue. However, police foiled their efforts.
The protesters were bundled into a waiting police vehicle and were whisked away to Gachibowli police station. The protest triggered mild tension on the busy traffic intersection in front of the auditorium in the information technology hub of Madhapur.
Munawar’s ‘Dongri to Nowhere’ began amid tight security. Large number of people were seen queuing up outside the auditorium much before the show time.
The police advised the organisers to start the show an hour before the scheduled time (6 p.m.). It is likely to continue till 9 p.m.
Cyberabad police made tight security arrangements for the show in view of the threats by BJP and some other right-wing groups to disrupt it.
About 500 policemen were deployed around Shilpa Kala Vedika and were thoroughly frisking the ticket-holders.
Senior officials including a Deputy Inspector General of Police and two Deputy Commissioners of Police were supervising the security.
Police were keeping a tight vigil on the venue and adjoining busy roads to prevent untoward incidents.
Police were also keeping a vigil on those who purchased the tickets online for the show as a BJP leader claimed that some of the party supporters have purchased the tickets and will be staging protests during the show.
The police have already detained BJP MLA T. Raja Singh, who had threatened to burn down the venue.
As Raja Singh along with his supporters was trying to leave for Shilpa Kala Vedika on Friday, the police took him into preventive custody.
He alleged that Faruqui had hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus by making jokes on their gods.
The comedian had earlier planned to perform in Hyderabad in January but the show had to be cancelled due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Faruqui had announced his Hyderabad show on December 22, 2021, days after Telangana minister K.T. Rama Rao had extended him an open invite.
Minister KTR had extended an open invitation to the comedian to perform in Hyderabad, saying the city is truly cosmopolitan. -IANS