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Munawar out, but 2 held in case await bail 45 days on

While Faruqui was granted ad-interim bail by the Supreme Court on February 5, two of the show organisers – Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony – who were arrested with him, were granted bail by the Indore bench of the high court on February 12.

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
Updated: February 17, 2021 8:22:22 am
Munawar Faruqui, Munawar Faruqui show, Sadaqat KhanStand-up comic Munawar Faruqui (Facebook/Munawar Faruqui)

Nearly 45 days after they were arrested in the case related to stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui’s show, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, Nalin Yadav (24), an upcoming comedian, and Sadakat Khan (26), a civil engineer, are yet to get bail.

Yadav was arrested with Faruqui and three others from a cafe in Indore on January 1. Khan was arrested a day later, from outside the court premises, where he had gone to meet Faruqui.

While Faruqui was granted ad-interim bail by the Supreme Court on February 5, two of the show organisers – Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony – who were arrested with him, were granted bail by the Indore bench of the high court on February 12. The third person, a minor, was granted relief a week after his arrest.

Both Yadav and Khan have now filed fresh bail pleas before the Indore bench. Yadav’s bail plea was earlier rejected by the Sessions Court and the Indore bench of the high court. After the Supreme Court granted relief to Faruqui, Khan filed a bail plea in the Sessions Court, but it was turned down.

“Since the Supreme Court has granted ad-interim bail to Munawar Faruqui, based on which the high court gave relief to Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony, we will plead for parity before the high court,” said Yadav’s lawyer, Anshuman Shrivastava.

“This whole case has been about Munawar Faruqui, and now that he has been released, no one really cares who is left behind. I just want my brother to come back home,” said Yadav’s younger brother, Akash, a Class XII commerce student.

Since Yadav’s arrest, Akash has been juggling between his studies, a part-time job, and weekly visits to jail. The brothers lost their mother to cancer in October last year, while their father died much earlier.

“I don’t want my brother to feel that he is all alone in this. I want him to know that there is someone standing for him, especially after everyone else who was arrested with him has been released,” said Akash.

“Even though he is in jail, Nalin is more worried about my safety than his release. He thinks that people who got this case registered may harm me in his absence,” he said.

According to Akash, Yadav wanted to be a dancer, and had opened a dance academy in Pithampura, near Indore. But about three years ago, when his stand-up gig got good reviews, he turned to comedy.

But the lockdown hit them hard, as there were no shows, and it got worse after their mother’s death. The brothers were hoping that things would get better with the new year. Their hopes are now pinned on the bail plea.

Also waiting for relief is Khan’s family. “Sadakat’s mother wakes up in the middle of the night asking for him. She hasn’t stopped crying, and just keeps asking one question: when will my son return home,” said Khan’s father, Liyakat Ali Khan.

A civil engineer working in Mumbai, Khan met Faruqui at a comedy show in the city, and the two became good friends. When Faruqui decided to perform in Indore, he asked Khan to accompany him, said Liyakat.

While Khan did not go with Faruqui, he decided to surprise him at the show. “I arranged for a bus ticket to take him to Indore… he wanted to show up at Munawar’s show and surprise him,” said Liyakat.

On January 1, Khan had left the cafe before the police arrested Faruqui and the others. He was arrested the next day, when he went to meet Faruqui in court.

“After Munawar’s release, when he asked Sadakat why he had come to look for him, he told him, tu andar tha, mujhe bahar accha nahi lag raha tha (you were inside, I wasn’t feeling good outside),” said Liyakat. “He told me that he offers prayers five times a day and eats his food on time. He has made new friends in prison too,” he said.

Liyakat said that his grandfather, Barkat Ali Khan Holkar, was a soldier under British India. “He was inducted into the Indian Army after independence. My grandmother received a government pension of Rs 5,000 until her death in 1997,” he said.

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