Welcoming the sacking of Maulana Noor-ur-Rehman Barkati from the post of Shahi Imam of Kolkata's Tipu Sultan mosque, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said such people who speak anti-India statements should be thrown out of the country.
Speaking to ANI, BJP leader Rahul Sinha said, "These kinds of people should be thrown out of the country. Such persons, who raised pro-Pakistan slogans, doesn't have the authority to be the Imam. He should be sent to Pakistan. I welcome his sacking."
Expressing similar views, another BJP leader Dilip Gosh said, "It is unfortunate since Imam is a religious figure. I have been reiterating that the reason he is courageous enough to say anti-India remarks because of the fact that Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) was protecting him. He is a vote catcher. He should have sacked earlier."
Earlier today, the trustees of Tipu Sultan mosque sacked Barkati for his "objectionable and inflammatory remarks against the country".
Refusing to step down from the post, Barkati told ANI, "Terminated, axed, these words don't apply to Imam. Imam is a community head . . . I get a lot of notices every day. Who are they to terminate me? They need to apologise before the media otherwise they will face serious consequences."
Barkati also alleged that the trustees were acting on the behest of Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and blamed them of siphoning the mosque's property.
Barkati is infamous for issuing fatwa against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defying Centre' order on the use of red beacon.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)