My privilege to use red beacon, will not remove it even if PM asks me to, says Barkati

Barkati made the comments even as three more complaints were lodged against him on Thursday night over his refusal, which he made public during an interview to a news channel, bringing the total number of complaints to four.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: May 13, 2017 6:17:36 am
barkati, Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati, shahi imam, Tipu Sultan mosque imam, India news, indian express news Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati (Source: File)

Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan mosque Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati on Friday said it was his privilege as a religious leader to use a red beacon, and he would not remove it “even if Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to”. Barkati made the comments even as three more complaints were lodged against him on Thursday night over his refusal, which he made public during an interview to a news channel, bringing the total number of complaints to four.

The imam, however, claimed the RSS was behind the complaints, and that it has hatched a conspiracy to get him arrested. He had earlier claimed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had given him permission to continue using the red beacon.

“The aim of the RSS is to turn Hindustan into a Hindu Rashtra. I oppose it. As I speak fearlessly against them, they want to get me arrested,” he said.

Barkati also alleged that he had filed counter-complaints against RSS at Bowbazar, Hare Street and New Market police stations. “Anyone can complain against anyone. That does not make a person look criminal. I have also filed a counter-complaint against the RSS. They want to get me arrested because I use red beacon atop my car. Why can the Supreme Court not pass arrest orders against L K Advani and Uma Bharati, whose active involvement in demolition of Babari Masjid has been proved?” Barkati said.

Of the complaints filed against him, two are group complaints signed by at least 10 people and filed at Gariahat and Lake police stations, spearheaded by local resident Rajarshi Lahiri.

“On behalf of the civil society, we have lodged a complaint at Gariahat police station and Lake police station against Syed Mohammad Nurur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan mosque, for his derogatory statements made towards the Constitution of India, Honorable High Court of Calcutta, Honorable Prime Minister of Union of India and for his deliberate and intentional instigation of giving rise to communal tensions and disruption of communal peace and harmony in Kolkata, West Bengal and the rest of India,” said Lahiri.

A third complaint was filed by RTI activist Biplab Kumar Choudhury at Bowbazar police station. A complaint had also been filed earlier by Suraj Kumar Singh, a resident of Topsia, at the local police station.

“On several occasions, he has made derogratory remarks against the Hindu community. He has been openly talking about jihad and all. Police must take action against him. He is openly defying the law. When no one is using red beacon, who has given him the right to make his own law?” said Choudhury.

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