Standup comedian Munawar Faruqui walked out of Indore jail late last week after being behind the bars for almost a month. Faruqui, along with four others, was put in jail on accusations of insulting Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show in Indore.
On Saturday night, when he was finally allowed to go, he walked out of jail in silence, probably to avoid any further backlash. A day later when he spoke to media, he made very brief remarks saying that he has faith in the judiciary system of the country.
While he hasn't spoken anything about the controversy or his time in the jail yet, he posted a picture of himself on Instagram on Tuesday. Wearing his brightest smile, Faruqui captioned the photograph with his poetry. "Mere ander ke andheron ko karne do shikayat, Hasa kar lakhon chehron ko Roshan kiya hai maine," he wrote a he thanked his fans for love and support.
The post went viral instantly as people expressed their love and solidarity with him, while as fellow comedians made cryptic remarks over the controversy. Nonetheless, Faruqui seemed to be responding to them in his wittiest form.
Faruqui's last post on Instagram before this one was on January 1 in which he had shared the screenshot of his tweet. "Tumhe kya lagta hai musibat calendar dekh ke aati hai? Happy New Year (Do you think troubles keep a calendar?)," he had written on Twitter hours before is arrest. This tweet turned out to be prophetic for him when he was heckled, assaulted and later arrested in Indore where he was performing at a show.
Arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, Faruqui was in Indore jail since January 1. Last Friday, the Supreme Court granted him interim bail after the Madhya Pradesh High Court had rejected his bail plea on January 28. The apex court also stayed the production warrant issued against Faruqui by a court in Prayagraj in connection with an FIR lodged there.
He was arrested after the complaint of Eklavya Singh Gaur (36), son of local BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaur. According to police, the complainant overheard 'rehearsal jokes' that the Mumbai-based artist was going to crack on his show. Gaur and his associates had gone to the show as an audience, where they objected to the comments and created a ruckus over it. They also forced the event to stop.
While Faruqui walked free, his friend Sadakat Khan, who wasn't even named in the FIR, remains in jail. On Tuesday, a video of him being assaulted while he was being taken away by the police surfaced on social media.
On January 13, Indore police chief Vijay Khatri even acknowledged that there was no concrete evidence against Faruqui, but he defended his arrest.
“Apart from the rehearsals, there were his old videos too. They were going to do it, anyway. All of their jokes were about Hindu gods and goddesses. It isn’t as if they would have not cracked these jokes if there was no hungama," Khatri was quoted as saying in media reports.