About a dozen BJP activists were detained as they tried to barge into the venue of the Munawar Faruqui comedy show in Hyderabad on Saturday, 20 August, with the Cyberabad police going all out to ensure the event was not disrupted.
As many as 600 police personnel were deployed at the show’s venue, Shilpakala Vedika, amidst threats to the stand-up comedian from right-wing groups.
The right-wing activists made several attempts to enter the venue but were thwarted by the police, ensuring that around 2,800 ticket holders could watch the show uninterrupted.
On a day when the BJP-ruled Karnataka government denied permission to his show, the TRS-led Telangana government went out of its way to ensure Faruqui’s safety.
@sumitjha__ reports live from #Shilpakalavedika @BJP4Telangana workers detained by @cyberabadpolice near the venue of #MunawarFaruqui show. pic.twitter.com/dRbmYvfdkV
— South First (@TheSouthfirst) August 20, 2022
The comedian — who was arrested and jailed for a month in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh in 2021 for an alleged joke on Hindu gods that he did not make — was provided enough security to hold his show without interruption on Saturday.
And the show went on
And those who watched the show inside appeared to have had a roaring good time.
“I have not witnessed this kind of show in Hyderabad. This is the first time I felt connected with a stand-up comedian. It felt that he was talking to us. He had great punchlines,” Mohammed Ismail, a resident of Falaknuma told South First as he walked out at around 7.30.
“Munawar being Munawar, whenever any member of the audience passed a comment, his reply was too funny. He knows how to connect the punchline contextually from the start. Start se end tak joke kaise connect karna hai usko pata hai,” said Umar Salim, a resident of Tolichowki.
Faruqui steered clear of any controversy and did not crack any religious jokes, according to members of the audience.
He, in fact, went out of his way to thank the police for ensuring his safety as well as that of the audience.
TRS government ensure safety
And Cyberabad police did indeed go out of its way to ensure the show was held.
A day before the show, Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh was detained by the Shahinayathgunj police when he was reportedly on his way to set fire to the venue of Munawar’s show, titled “Dongri to Nowhere”.
Police were deployed outside Raja Singh’s residence where he is under house arrest after threatening to also beat up Faruqui.
The show, which was scheduled to begin at 6 pm, was advanced to 5 pm as his fans gathered at the venue in huge numbers from 2.30 pm itself.
The police, in a move to ensure maximum security, banned the audience from carrying anything into the venue except their mobile phones and identity cards.
Cyberabad police personnel from Miyapur, Gachibowli, Madhapur, and Raidurgam were deployed at the venue since 7 am.
Senior officials were present at the venue to make sure there wasn’t any kind of disruption, Vijay Kumar DCP, told South First.
“We were fully prepared for those who wanted to disrupt the show, who could have come from any direction. So we made sure that there was minimal vehicle movement so if miscreants came they could be identified,” an SI told South First.