Awez Khan, father of Gulrez Khan who was arrested on Tuesday for attributing what Azam Khan termed as an “objectionable and wrong” statement to him in a Facebook post, is ready to apologize for his son’s “mistake”.
Mr. Awez who insisted that his son did not post or upload the “objectionable” content but just shared it, told The Hindu on phone, “ I am ready to apologize to the honourable Minister for the mistake of my son. It was an innocuous act by Gulrez who didn’t even know what he was doing.”
“Even the police said that my son confessed to have shared the content without knowing or understanding it. It would be generosity of the honourable Minister to forgive the mistake of my child,” he added.
In a reminder of a similar instance near Mumbai, when two girls were booked and arrested for their Facebook post following Balasaheb Thackeray's death in 2012, the Uttar Pradesh Police have booked Gulrez Khan alias Vicky under similar sections of the IT Act and the IPC.
A statement attributed to the SP leader in the post which Gulrez had shared on Facebook reads, “Let Hindu leaders wear skull cap but we Muslims would never sport Tilak. Irrespective of the respect Hindus accord to Namaz, we Muslims would always boycott Vande Mataram because Islam prohibits both secularism and love for one's country”.
An irate Azam Khan, a senior Minister in the Akhilesh Yadav government in U.P., however, was not ready to budge.
“There was a comment from a boy on Facebook against me which caused problem to me. I got several abusive calls over phone and lots of flak on the social media platform,” an angry Mr. Khan told The Hindu .
“The act of the boy was highly objectionable. These incidents will stop only after strict measures are taken,” added the PWD Minister.
The State police picked up Gulrez, a student of Woodrow School in Bareilly, on Monday evening after the Minister’s media incharge Fasahat Ali Khan registered an FIR at Ganj police station in Rampur district. He was produced before Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Azad Singh on Tuesday who sent him to 14-days judicial custody.