Stand-up comedian Munawar Faruqui was in the early hours of Sunday released from the Indore jail, were he was held for over a month after his arrest in a case related to allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
Deputy Superintendent of the Indore Central Jail said Faruqi was released around midnight.
Faruqui was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on Friday. The apex court issued a notice to Madhya Pradesh Police on the comedian’s plea challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court order declining him bail and stayed the production warrant issued against him by a Prayagraj court.
The comedian was released from another door of the jail in the early hours on Sunday presumably to avoid media persons at the jail’s main gate and to ensure his safety.
Faruqui and four others were arrested by Madhya Pradesh police on January 1 following a complaint by Eklavya Singh Gaud, son of BJP MLA Malini Laxman Singh Gaud that objectionable remarks about Hindu deities as well as Union Home Minister Amit Shah were passed during a comedy show at a cafe in Indore on New Year’s Day. One more person was arrested in this connection.
Faruqui was in judicial remand and lodged in Indore Central Jail. Faruqui had moved the Supreme court after he was denied bail thrice- a magistrate’s court, a sessions court, and the high court had rejected his bail pleas.
A Prayagraj court had also issued a production warrant against Faruqui in a case of the alleged derogatory depiction of Hindu deities by him on social media. An FIR was lodged against the comedian by an advocate in April last year accusing him of mocking and insulting Hindu deities in his viral video clips on social media.
Prior to getting a stay of the case in Prayagraj, Indore Central Jail was asked to ensure the appearance of Faruqui in the Prayagraj court on February 18.
After getting bail in the Indore case, when Faruqui’s lawyers took the bail papers to jail on Saturday evening, the jail administration gave him a release in the Indore case, but did not release the comedian in the Prayagraj case, and started preparations to send him there.
On Saturday evening, Faruqui’s Indore lawyer Ashwar Warsi called Indore Central jail’s actions as contempt of the Supreme Court.
The jail administration received the stay order in the Prayagraj case late on Saturday night, after which the comedian was released from jail after 12 midnight on Sunday.
The case was an anomaly as according to the jail manual prisoners are not released after 7 pm, but Faruqui was released after midnight.