Imam issues fatwa against PM Modi, BJP files complaint demanding immediate arrest

Described as a move against Centre's note ban, Imam Barkati issued the fatwa at a meeting chaired by TMC MP Idris Ali

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP are facing dire criticism after their November 7 move of demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes without giving any second thoughts. The sharpest of them came from West Bengal, specifically the state’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress.

Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque Maulana Nurur Rehman Barkati, who is known for his close relations with Mamata, issued a fatwa on Saturday offering a reward of Rs 25 lakh to anyone who will “cut off PM Narendra Modi’s beard, shave his head and smear him with black ink”.

Described as a move against Centre’s note ban, Imam Barkati issued the fatwa at a meeting chaired by TMC MP Idris Ali.

He said, “Everyday people are harassed and facing problem due to demonetisation…Modi is bluffing the society and the innocent people of the country through demonetisation and nobody wants him to continue as PM.”

Elaborating on why he had targeted Narendra Modi’s beard, Barkati added, “People who keep beard are mostly religious like maulanas, sadhus, sufis, sikh gurus.. But Modi keeping beard is bhondami (bluffing).” He also termed PM Modi as “communal” while praising Mamata as a figure of “communal harmony”.

Meanwhile, the BJP West Bengal unit lodged a complaint against the fatwa and demanded the Imam’s immediate arrest.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh told PTI, “We want him to be arrested and put behind bars. This is not only insult to the Prime Minister but also to the people of this country. We will go for legal action against him.”

According to Times of India, BJP state secretary Ritesh Tiwari had lodged a complaint against the fatwa in Jorasakho police station and demanded action against Barkati.

“I have lodged a police complaint and urged the police authorities to treat it as a FIR. You can’t just say anything you want against the Prime Minister of our country,” Tiwari said.

Shahi Imam had also issued a fatwa against BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh last year for his remarks about Mamata.