Legal Correspondent: Saura Patil
December 7, 2021: The organizers of Gurgaon Comedy Festival have retracted the stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui off their line-up of performers, citing "public security". Organisers have said that in the past two days they've received "repeated messages" and online messages expressing opposition to Faruqui's presence at the festival that runs from December 17 to 19 in the Airia Mall.
Mubin Tisekar, co-founder of The Entertainment Factory, which organizes the event said "We wanted to avoid having the event harm anyone's feelings or put the public at risk. Therefore, we have removed him from the panel. The decision was made yesterday and we have made adjustments to the ticketing platform and poster. We consider the security for artists and the public is the top priority... the audience is the most important thing."
Tisekar claimed that, after the poster went out, they received criticism online: "After the tweets, we received numerous calls from all over the world. We were not going to do that. I won't comment on who was calling or complain. In the end, at time's end... it's all is about having people laugh."
Arun Yadav, Haryana the head of the BJP's IT department has filed a police report against Faruqui and accused him of offending Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and the police are asked to make sure the he does not perform. "To ensure peace and harmony among different segments of society, I ask that you investigate the issue and put him on the spot... The way he conducts himself has offended me. Actions have sparked my Hindu religion," wrote Yadav in the complaint.
"I tweeted on December 4, first and stated that his performances will not be permitted in Gurgaon or anywhere else. I lodged a complaint with ACP Sohna today," Yadav said to The Indian Express.
Faruqui who was sentenced to one month in Indore prison for the alleged insult to Hindu Gods and Goddesses in his show, has also seen many of his shows being removed following demands from right-wing groups. The shows include ones that took place in Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai and Raipur. Following a show that was recently held at Bengaluru was cancelled by local police citing laws and orders, Faruqui posted online: "Nafrat jeet gayi artist haar gaya (hate has prevailed, art loses). I'm done, goodbye. Injustice."
When asked if he knew that a police report was filed against Faruqui's involvement in the incident, Tisekar, said, "Yes, we are aware."
Aman Yadav, ACP, Sadar who is in charge of the additional responsibility of ACP Sohna Aman Yadav, ACP, Sadar, who has the additional charge of "A complaint has been filed against Faruqui in protest regarding his presence at a fest scheduled to take place in Gurgaon and also regarding the what he has posted in his online videos."
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