Why comedian Munawar Faruqui was arrested: A timeline
The Madhya Pradesh High Court in an order dated January 28, 2021, has dismissed the bail applications of stand up comedian Munawar Faruqui and Nalin Yadav, also an accused. The two were arrested on January 2 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments on their show.
Here's a timeline of what happened since January 1
> On January 1, Faruqui, the comedian from Gujarat, was arrested by police along with four others on the complaint filed by Eklavya Singh Gaud, the son of BJP MP, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by making indecent remarks against Hindu deities at his comic show in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
> The four others include Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas and Nalin Yadav. All of them were booked under IPC sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), section 269 (unlawful or negligent act likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and other relevant provisions. They were also accused of organizing the comic show ignoring all Covid-19 protocol.
> A standup comedy show was organized on January 1, 2021, at Munro Cafe, Indore where the accused had apparently made indecent remarks against Hindu deities and home minister Amit Shah that led to the complainant filing the case against them.
> Post the registration of the FIR against them, the applicants had approached Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Indore. The magistrate court and the sessions court had rejected their bail application. The district court had sent Faruqui and four others to judicial custody till January 13, as reported by PTI.
> During the hearing in lower courts, the prosecution opposed their bail application and said the show was organised amid the pandemic without permission. Their lawyers said the cases filed against them are 'vague' and registered due to political pressure, reported the news agency.
> On January 14, Faruqui had moved the Madhya Pradesh high court after being in jail for two weeks.
> The high court on January 25 had reserved its order on the bail application.
> On January 28, the high court bench of Justice Rohit Arya again rejected the bail plea of the accused citing the ongoing investigation, materials seized and statements of witnesses.
"There is also a specific assertion by the learned counsel for the complainant that the applicant alongwith other co-accused persons allegedly making outraging filthy jokes in social media deliberately against Hindu Gods, Lord Shriram and Goddess Seeta hurting religious sentiments of Hindus for the last 18 months despite, protest on various social media platforms. There is nothing on record to the contrary," the judge said in the order.
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