Maulana Nurur Rehman Barkati has been sacked as the Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque for “objectionable and inflammatory remarks against the country”. The cleric had recently threatened ‘jihad’ and refused to take off the red beacon from his vehicle.
Barkati, who is also considered close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, is known for his repeated controversial and provocative comments.
In a controversial statement by Barkati last week, he had warned of a ‘jihad’ if India was declared a Hindu Rashtra, and also refused to take off the red beacon from his car saying the privilege was granted to the Shahi Imam by the British government.
He had also drawn flak for commenting that Muslims would “fight for Pakistan if India became a Hindu state”.
His comments led to a hue and cry, with the BJP and other Sangh Privar outfits dubbing him “anti-national” and senior West Bengal minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury, regarded as a prominent face of the ruling Trinamool Congress, calling Barkati an RSS agent.
However, coming under pressure from the state government, Barkati was forced to take off the beacon from his vehicle.
A police complaint was lodged against Barkati by the mosque’s trustee board on Monday.
(With inputs from IANS)