Indian Comedian Munawar Faruqui's much-awaited Dhongri to Nowhere show in Hyderabad finished smoothly- with no disruption inside the Shilpakala Vedika Hall.
However, the mood outside the venue was tense with workers from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) attempting to disrupt the show. At least seven attempts were made to disrupt the show by entering the venue.
The Cyberabad Police reportedly took nearly 50 people into custody.
The workers began running towards the venue amid high security while loudly chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'.
At least seven attempts were made to break into the venue once the crowd cleared out. A huge line began forming outside the venue from as early as 2 pm for a show that was scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm.
Shilpakala Vedika in Hitech City was heavily guarded by police both inside and outside the premises turning the venue into a fortress of sorts.
The police bandobast was spread out all the way from Durgam Cheruvu's Cable Bridge to Kukatpally-JNTU road.
Munawar Faruqui also allegedly arrived in a bulletproof car.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed the show and there was no hassle inside.
"Munawar began the show with thanking the Hyderabad Police and clearing that there would be no political jokes at all," said Sameer Gupta, one of the attendants.
Sameer said that it was a light-hearted show. "The jokes mostly were related to education, disability, marriage, and friendship," he said.
Sameer reached the venue at 2 pm. It took him 2 hours to get inside Shilpakala Vedika.
At least 3,000 people attended the event.
Another attendee- Abdul Zafar said that he was skeptical about whether the show would happen or not. "But I am glad that it did. I have been waiting for his show since the last one got canceled," he said.
"This is the first time I am coming to attend a programme at Shilpakala Vedika, I came to see Munawar Faruqui," said another member from the audience. "Munawar spoke about unity. Even though he got several threats, he was speaking about unity and living together with each other," said Saleem, another person from the audience. He also added that there was no commotion inside and with the support of the Telangana police, the programme went smoothly.
Munawar's show titled 'Dhandho' which was scheduled to be held on 9 January 2022 was canceled due to Covid-19 protocols. The show was not rescheduled.
In January, the show was announced in the city days after municipal administration minister and TRS president K.T Rama Rao took a jibe at the BJP government in Karnataka for canceling Munawar and Kunal Kamra's shows in Bengaluru over threats from Hindu groups.
Multiple people who reached the venue at 5:30 pm were allegedly turned away by the police even though they have pre-booked tickets.
BJP Goshamahal MLA Raja Singh had earlier threatened to set the venue on fire and even "attack" Munawar Faruqui if the show is held.
The BJP leader said, "It was through an advertising link that we got to know of the comedy show in Hyderabad. It must be recalled that it was municipal administration and urban development minister K.T Rama Rao who invited him to host a show here. He even promised police protection. This is the same man who poked fun at Hindu gods and goddesses. He called BJP a cancer party and made fun of those innocent victims who were killed in the Godhra massacre. How can we allow him to ridicule the Hindu religion? I will hit him if the show is allowed to happen in Hyderabad."
BJP MLA Raja Singh has been taken into custody ahead of the event. He has been detained at Bollarum on Friday.
This article has been written by Amrutha Kosuru and Nimisha S Pradeep