A COMEDIAN has been arrested after allegedly making insulting remarks about Hindu deities during a stand-up show.
Comedian Munawar Faruqui, from Gujarat, was also allegedly beaten by a furious mob following the stand up routine at a cafe in the city of Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
He also allegedly poked fun at Indian Home Minister Amit Shah.
Four others named as Edwin Anthony, Prakhar Vyas, Priyam Vyas, and Nalin Yadav were also taken into custody, reports The Indian Express, and all five denied bail.
It is not clear what the exact remarks were, but Mr Faruqui was picked up by police after the son of politician Malini Laxman Singh Gaur, Eklavya Singh Gaur, filed a complaint about the comedian's "indecent comments".
"The show mocked Hindu deities by passing indecent comments. The Godhra incident and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were also mentioned inappropriately.
"We shot a video and stopped the show by taking the audience out of the cafe.
"Then we caught the comedians and organizers of the show and took them to Tukoganj police station," Mr Singh Gaur told India Today.
Pals have also alleged the comedian was beaten by a mob following a confrontation with Singh Gaur, although he denies the claims.
Spokesperson for Tukoganj police station, Kamla Sharma, said: "The FIR was registered following video evidence submitted to us in which the content was found to be objectionable.”
Mr Sharma said that although the video showed only one comedian making the allegedly "objectionable" remarks, all five were taken into custody for being part of the show.
The comedians were booked on charges of deliberate and malicious acts which "intended to outrage religious feelings" by insult.
They were also slapped with charges relating to coronavirus rule breaking after Gaur complained of a lack of social distancing at the show.
Footage of the aftermath of the alleged incident showing Mr Faruqui attempting to
Several other comedians have spoken out following the incident.
Varun Grover, a fellow comedian and writer of hit Indian series Sacred Games, took to Instagram to criticise the arrests.
He also alleged Mr Faruqui was "beaten up".
He said: "A fellow Indian, a fellow comedian is in jail and got beaten up by a mob because of the words he uttered. Here he’s trying to logically, calmly present his case but our systems now just want to brutally silence every voice.
“They don’t want to hear, they don’t want to even argue – they want to simply erase every shred of individual thought, every iota of reason. And we the people of the greatest civilization of earth are ok with it,” Grover wrote."
Another comedian, Vir das, wrote on Twitter: "You can’t stop jokes and laughter.
"Not because comedians are performing it, but because people need to laugh. Harder you try, the more you’re going to be laughed at, now, and by history.."
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