BHOPAL: Following grant of interim bail by the Supreme Court to jailed stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui, his father-in-law Younis Khan alleged that the FIR against him was lodged by Indore Police under pressure from the son of a BJP MLA.
"We all are relieved that he (Faruqui) has not only been granted interim bail in the Indore case, but the arrest warrant issued in the old case of UP's Prayagraj district also has been stayed by the top court," Younis told The New Indian Express over the phone from Junagarh (Gujarat).
The Junagarh native man, whose daughter has been married to Faruqui since 2017, further alleged that his son-in-law was arrested and booked for the offence, despite having not committed any criminal act.
"Even the audience at the New Year Day comedy show in Indore had said that he (Faruqui) hadn't even performed at the show, where he is alleged to have made the offensive remarks about Hindu deities. He was only present there," alleged Younis.
"It was all done under pressure of the ruling BJP MLA's son -- right from my son-in-law's detention to his naming in the FIR and subsequent arrest. The BJP MLA's son got him (Faruqui) named in the case just on the basis of the 10-month-old case pending in UP. The police in Indore had no evidence against my son-in-law having made objectionable remarks against Hindu deities, but they acted under pressure of the MLA's son," he further alleged.
It was the right-wing Hindu outfit 'Hind Raksha Sangathan' leader Eklavya Singh Gaur (son of ex Indore mayor and present BJP MLA Malini Gaur) on whose complaint, six men, including Faruqui, two brothers Prakhar and Priyam Vyas, Edward Anthony, Nalin Yadav, and Sadakat Khan were arrested on January 2 by the Tukoganj police in Indore.
The six men were booked under IPC Sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 298 (deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings), 269 (negligent act likely to spread disease), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention).
Gaur and aides had got the New Year Day show at a popular cafe in Indore Chhapan Dukan area stopped on January 1 evening, alleging that the Faruqui and others had hurt Hindu religious sentiments by making insulting remarks about Hindu deities at the show.
Subsequently, Faruqui and five others were arrested on January 2 after being booked in the case filed on Gaur's complaint. Faruqui's bail pleas were later rejected by the district and sessions court as well as the Indore Bench of MP High Court.