Rights group urges national rights panel to ensure free and fair trial of comedian  Munawar Faruqui and others

By Special Correspondent

New Delhi:  Rights organization, the National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) today filed a complaint in the National Human Rights Commission against the arresting and the denial of bail to stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui comedian Manuwar Faruqui and four others in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. The local court denied him the bail despite the police failed to produce any evidence against him and others.  The NCHRO urged the rights commission to intervene in the matter and ensure free and frail trial against the accsued.

Faruqui and Nalin Yadav, along with three others who had organized an event of stand-up comedy at a cafe in the popular 56 Dukan locality of Indore, were arrested after a complaint was filed by Eklavya Gaur, convenor of the Hind Rakshak Sangathan and son of BJP MLA Malini Gaur.

The complaint was filed by Advocate Ansaar Indori, national committee member of the NCHRO. “We have urged the NHRC to ensure a fair trial in the case”.

The complainant has alleged that the accused had ridiculed “Hindu” gods and had made fun of Home Minister Amit Shah. However, considering that the event was a performance of stand-up comedy, the complaint seems to be politically motivated. The accused was even made to clarify that he has made fun of other religions too in his acts.

Even the Indore Superintendent of Police Vijay Khatri  said  Faruqui had not made any jokes about Hindu deities, or even begun his performance when his arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Police on January . A website quoting the police officer Khatri reported that the comedian was arrested only on the basis of claims made by a radical Hindutva vigilante group. Faruqui had been arrested from a cafe in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore city on January 1 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, and has since been in custody.

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