The Imam of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan Shahi Mosque, Noor-ur Rehman Barkati, on Tuesday made a counter-offer of Rs 22 lakh for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing leader Yogesh Varshney’s head, who had earlier announced a reward of Rs 11 lakh for beheading West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
While talking to media, the Iman said, “Mamata Banerjee is our respected leader and I consider her as my sister. I will pay Rs 22 lakh to anyone who brings me the head of the BJP leader. It is expected that fascist RSS-BJP will be speaking the language of hoodlums.”
Barkati is one of the most influential Muslim clerics of West Bengal. He is known for issuing fatwas against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and author Salman Rushdie.
The outrageous threat to Bengal CM came in from Yogesh Varshney, a member of the BJP Morcha over the alleged police action on a rally which was held on Sunday to mark Hanuman Jayanti in Birbhum, around 180 km from Kolkata.
The leader alleged that the members of the rally were brutally beaten up in a baton charge by the police. Condemning the act, Varshney called Mamata a ‘demon’.
Varshney said, “When I saw the video, I only had one thought… that if anyone gets me Mamata Banerjee’s head I will give them 11 lakh.”
The leader added that all the slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ raised during rally were by the devotees and not linked to any particular party. Varshney further accused the Bengal CM of ‘targeting Hindus’.
Meanwhile, BJP has disowned the youth leader for his outrageous threat. The party is facing severe backlash for not taking action against so-called gau-rakshaks indulging in violence in the name of cow protection.