A show by comedian Munawar Faruqui scheduled to be held at an auditorium in Bengaluru today has been red-flagged by the police. In a letter to Good Shepherd auditorium in Bengaluru's Ashok Nagar, the police have asked the organisers to cancel the show citing possible law and order issues.
This is the latest scheduled show by the stand-up comedian to be cancelled after a similar programme was terminated in Mumbai last month, following threats from the right-wing group Bajrang Dal.
Mr Faruqui spent a month in jail earlier this year on charges of "insulting Hindu gods and goddesses" during one of his comedy shows.
In the letter, the Bengaluru Police referred to Mr Faruqui's show "Dongri to Nowhere" and said Mr Faruqui is a "controversial figure".
"It is learned that Munawar Faruqui is a controversial figure, as was his statements on other religions' Gods. Many states have banned his comedy shows. It is learned that a case has been filed against him in Madhya Pradesh. Similar cases are filed against him in other states," the Ashok Nagar police said in the letter.
"There is credible information that several organisations are opposing this stand-up comedy show... this could create chaos and could disturb public peace and harmony, which may further lead to law and order problems. It is suggested you cancel Munawar Faruqui's show at Good Shepherd auditorium," the police said.
Mohan Gowda of the Hindu Jagran Samiti in Bengaluru said they won't allow the show to be held. "We have filed a complaint with the police commissioner and sought the show to be cancelled. Munawar Faruqui has used derogatory remarks against Hindus in his show in Indore and other places. He has hurt sentiments," Mr Gowda said, adding they will hold a protest if the show is not cancelled.
In an Instagram post this afternoon, Mr Faruqui said, "Nafrat jeet gayi, artist haar gaya (hate has won, artist has lost). I'm done, goodbye. Injustice."
Mr Faruqui earlier this month told NDTV there was nothing problematic in his content. He had said up to 80 people including drivers, volunteers and guards earn a living from a single show. "I used to think sometimes that maybe I am wrong, but after what has happened, I have understood that some people are trying to gain political advantage out of this," he had said.
The comic said "everyone is targeted". "In my case, they use religion. That scares me," he said.