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Standup-comic complains of relentless harassment from right-wing extremists

Standup-comic complains of relentless harassment from right-wing extremists

Bhopal: Stand-up comedian Nalin Yadav, who was jailed along with comic Munawar Faruqi in 2021, surfaced in a video alleging that he is still being harassed in public. He shared a video on Sunday night, which was from March, in which he can be seen attacked along with his brother by a pack of goons on a busy street, The Indian Express reported.

Yadav told TIE that he gets frequently harassed, and this trend started when he was released from jail. According to him, those attacking him and his family are affiliated to the ruling party, he says in the video post. He alleged that the police asked him to change residences since the harassment incidents would continue.

He said he has been branded as ‘anti-nationalist’, and because of the goons who keep attacking him and his brother, he couldn’t stay at his home more than three days in the last two years.

He told TIE that soon after he was released, a group of men assaulted him. The FIR, registered on November 21, 2023, “but with watered down sections”.

The 28-year-old Yadav was arrested along with five others by Indore Police on January 1st, 2021. This was after a far-right group, Hind Rakshak Sangathan, disrupted his comedy show after claiming that he “insulted” Hindu gods and goddesses through his jokes.

Following his release later that year, he was never invited or given venues to hold further stand-up shows, which prompted him to take a job at a factory that manufactures polythene bags in Pithampur, 30 km from Indore.

He said he had changed his jobs and was fired from a company after it learned about his arrest and case. He said that fighting his case has completely drained him financially.

A second FIR was registered on March 24, 2023, after a group attacked his brother. However, a month ago, police summoned him and served him a notice saying that a cross FIR had been registered against him.

When TIE approached a senior police officer from Dhar, it was told that the police had taken cognizance of Yadav’s FIR and investigated the case, and a chargesheet would soon be presented in court. The officer says Yadav need not be concerned as the police sent the notice to inform the two parties about the cases filed to maintain peace. The officer also claimed that the police did not side with any party but were following the due legal process.

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TAGS:assaultStand-up comedianNalin YadavMunawar Faruqi
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