National

BSP leader draws flak for justifying Paris attack

Social activists and the general public have condemned a statement by Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, Bahujan Samaj Party leader, justifying the attack on the Paris magazine Charlie Hebdo that killed 12 people.

With calls for action against the former Minister, Additional Director-General of Police (Law and order), Uttar Pradesh, Mukul Goel said: “We can initiate action against him only after examining his statement under the purview of law.”

Mr. Qureshi even reportedly offered to pay Rs. 51 crore as “reward” to the three attackers, the amount he had earlier announced for the killing of a Danish cartoonist for a controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed.

“Whoever dare show disrespect for the Prophet will invite death like the cartoonists and journalists [of Charlie Hebdo] ... Those who dare insult Prophet Mohammed deserve death,” Mr. Qureshi was quoted as saying.

“I will reward the attackers who killed the Charlie Hebdo Editor, cartoonist of the infamous Prophet poster, with Rs. 51 crore ... I am ready to pay the money if they [attackers] come and demand the declared reward,” Mr. Qureshi told presspersons.

In 2006, the BSP leader created a flutter when in a public rally he announced the Rs. 51-crore reward on the head of the Danish cartoonist for his controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed.

One of the prominent Muslim politicians in western Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Qureshi was elected MLA on the United Democratic Front ticket in 2007 and later joined hands with the BSP. He was a Minister in the Mayawati government. He was defeated in Moradabad in the Lok Sabha election last year.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 1:10:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bsp-leader-draws-flak-for-justifying-paris-attack/article6768581.ece

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