Faruqui's shows cancelled over Bajrang Dal threats

'We will burn the place': Munawar Faruqui's shows cancelled over Bajrang Dal threats

Faruqui, in a social media post, confirmed that three of his shows stood cancelled

Comedian Munawar Faruqui. Credit: Facebook/Munawarcomedy

Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui's shows in Mumbai were cancelled after the owners of the venues reportedly received threats from members of the Bajrang Dal. 

Faruqui, in a social media post, confirmed that three of his shows stood cancelled. "The safety of my audience is what matters most to me. I don't want my audience to go through what I am experiencing," the post says.

Bajrang Dal members reportedly arrived in Mumbai from Gujarat and threatened the owners of Bandra’s Rangshardha auditorium and another hall in Borivali, resulting in the cancellation of shows, The Indian Express reported. 

The shows were scheduled for October 29 in Borivali and October 30, 31 shows were set to be held in Rangshardha auditorium. 

“We were threatened on Tuesday afternoon by three members of Bajrang Dal. They said ‘this show is against Hindus’," Purnima Shah, owner of Rangsharda auditorium, told the publication. 

"I told them producers book the hall and we do not ask who is the artist. I told them that the organiser has censor certificate, but still the Bajrang Dal members were threatening us. They told us they will burn the place, so we decided to cancel the show. At that time I called the police, who escorted them out of my premises,” Purnima Shah, owner of Rangsharda auditorium, told the publication.

An organiser said police had informed that they would be booked if there is a law and order issue coming out of the show. "We were under tremendous pressure as the police had served us a notice that we will be booked if any law and order problem occurs due to the act. For safety of our audience, we called it off. But it’s really sad that an artist is being targeted because of his religion and some joke he cracked two years ago. Everyone makes mistakes and it was made amply clear to the police that no Hindu sentiments will be hurt.,” they said, requesting anonymity, according to the publication.

Manohar Dhanavde, Senior Inspector of Bandra police station, said the police had given a warning to the Bajrang Dal saying action would be taken against them in case of any problems. The cops also served a notice to the organisers. 

According to the notice, the police had information that the content of the show may hurt religious sentiments of Hindus or other communities. And, if a law and order issue surfaces, the organisers will be booked and the notice will be used as evidence against them in court, Express reported.

The comedian was in news early this year when he was locked up in jail for over a month for allegedly insulting Hindu deities. The Supreme Court eventually granted bail after lower courts repeatedly denied relief to Faruqui. Police had faced scrutiny for the arbitrary nature of charges. They also admitted that there was no evidence that Faruqui had actually hurt Hindu sentiments. 

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