The party’s secretary had said Yasin Bhatkal was arrested because he was a Muslim.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Thursday removed national secretary Kamal Farooqui from the party post as well from the national executive for his alleged controversial remarks on the arrest of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.

SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav wrote to Mr. Farooqui informing him that party president Mulayam Singh Yadav has removed him as the party’s senior posts with immediate effect.

When contacted by , Mr. Farooqui declined to comment saying he will meet Mr. Yadav first. “I have also been informed about this,” he said before leaving Lucknow for here.

Mr. Farooqui has invited the wrath of his party leaders for asking at the time of the arrest of Bhatkal whether the arrest was based on grounds of terrorism or religion. He alleged that Bhatkal, who is wanted in several blasts cases including the Hyderabad case, may have been arrested because he was a Muslim. He had later apologised saying his comments were misunderstood.

His remarks, however, were condemned by political leaders cutting across parties. The SP had distanced itself saying “it could be his personal views.”