Mosque board sacks Kolkata’s Imam Barkati

He had refused to remove red beacon, threatened jihad

May 13, 2017 10:05 pm | Updated 10:05 pm IST - Kolkata

Kolkata, 20/03/2014: Maulana Barkati of 150 year Tipu Sultan Mosque of Kolkata. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Kolkata, 20/03/2014: Maulana Barkati of 150 year Tipu Sultan Mosque of Kolkata. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Days after his controversial comments regarding the use of red beacon on his vehicle, the influential cleric of Kolkata, Moulana Syed Noorur Rahman Barkati, the Shahi Imam of the Tipu Sultan Mosque here was removed from his post by the Mmosques’s Board of Trustees.

Speaking to The Hindu on Saturday, the head of the Board, Shahezada Anwar Ali Shah said Mr Barkati was removed “from the post of the Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque for his anti-national comments.”

Mr. Barkati could not be reached for his response.

The development comes on a day when Mr. Barkati was asked to remove the red beacon from his vehicle by the civil administration. However, he claimed that he has done so “voluntarily”.

Observers termed Mr Barkati’s removal “a kind of a coup” by the State administration to oust the most powerful cleric of the city, who was often seen in public with the Chief Minister.

The Moulana’s removal follows a series of confrontations with the administration. On Tuesday, Mr. Barkati had refused to abide by the Centre’s direction prohibiting the use of red beacon on non-emergency vehicles.

He also threatened to launch “jihad if one tries to make the country a Hindu Rashtra.”

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