Comedian Nalin Yadav has complained of harassment at the hands of the Indore police on Saturday night, when he was allegedly frisked like a “hardcore criminal” and warned not to leave his home at night. Yadav, who was accused of hurting religious sentiments along with Munawar Faruqui during a comedy gig in Indore this January, told the Hindustan Times that he was going to a nearby eatery when he was frisked, asked to put his hands in the air, and to show ownership documents of his two-wheeler.
“Not only this, I receive threatening and abusive calls on my social media almost daily,” Yadav told HT. “Recently, I posted something about Tripura violence and local people threatened me over the phone. They said I was an anti-Hindu and a sympathiser of only one community. I have to change my thinking otherwise I won’t be able to survive, I was told. Similarly, a few days ago I was harassed at a bar.”
The comedian said that he has been targeted by right-wing activists and goons several times over the past few months, but he did not file any complaints because he cannot fight so many cases in court.
The Indore police have refuted the allegations and asked Yadav to file a complaint in the matter. “Due to a rise in robberies in the area, we have strengthened our checking after midnight,” Pithampur Sector 1 inspector Lokesh Bhadouriya told HT. “Police personnel checked him thoroughly to rule out the possibility of him being a thief. What is wrong with it?”
Yadav has been struggling since the Indore incident in January—allegedly instigated by the son of a BJP leader—with his attempts to return to the comedy stage regularly blocked. He has struggled to get shows, and the few he has got have an unfortunate tendency to be cancelled. He has been working as a daily wager in a bags manufacturing unit to make ends meet, and occasionally visits New Delhi to perform at cafes for free in order to get some stage time.