Updated: January 18, 2021 7:42:36 am
Uttar Pradesh Police have obtained a production warrant for stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui in connection with a case lodged against him at Prayagraj in April last year.
Officials of Uttar Pradesh Police said they have submitted the production warrant at Indore district jail, where Munawar is currently lodged after being arrested for alleged objectionable remarks against Hindu deities. The Indore jail superintendent, however, said they have not received the warrant yet.
The case against Munawar in Prayagraj was lodged at George Town police station on April 19 last year after a complaint by local lawyer Ashutosh Mishra.
The complainant had alleged that he had found a video on social media in which Munawar made insulting statements against Union Home Minister Amit Shah and tried to create hatred between communities, said police. He also alleged that Munawar hurt religious sentiments through remarks on Hindu gods and goddesses in another video, said police.
The case was lodged under IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), and sections 65 and 66 of Information Technology Act.
About four months back, SSP, Prayagraj, transferred the investigation into the case from George Town police station to the Crime Branch.
“On coming to know that Munawar Faruqui is lodged at Indore Jail, we moved a local court and obtained his production warrant. On January 7, we served the production warrant at Indore jail and submitted another copy at a court in Indore,” said investigating officer Inspector Dhakeshwar Singh.
He said that police tried to locate Munawar during the investigation, but failed to reach him. The FIR did not have much information, he said, adding that it did not have the name of Munawar’s father and the comedian’s address mentioned in it was found to be wrong.
“The majority part of the investigation has been completed, including recording the statements of witnesses. The statement of Munawar could not be recorded,” said Singh.
Superintendent of Indore jail, Rajesh Kumar Bhangre, said they were yet to receive any communication with regard to the production warrant. “We will seek the court’s opinion in case we receive the warrant. Once the court grants permission, Munawar’s custody will be handed over to UP police.”
Anshuman Shirvastav, who is representing Munawar in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, said, “We will move for anticipatory bail once we have details of the warrant and the case.”
If the anticipatory bail plea is rejected, Munawar will be handed over to UP police after securing his bail from MP.
With ENS, Bhopal
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