A day after his official termination from the post of imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid on Esplanade in central Kolkata, Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati was injured after he was allegedly attacked by one of the protestors who demanded that Barkati vacate the masjid premises.
“I was leading the namaz of ‘asar’ (the prayer said at around 4.30 pm), and after the namaz someone hit me from behind, on my head. I suspect it is the handiwork of RSS who is taking the advantage of the situation created by the masjid committee,” claimed Barkati
Adding pressure to Barkati, members of Tahaffuz- E- Masjid Committee conducted a press conference on Thursday saying that the committee which had removed Barkati had rightly done so and Barkati should accept the decision.
“If he doesn’t budge, then legal action would be taken against the renegade imam. He had faltered in his duties as a religious leader and had been more inclined towards politics. If he accepts his mistake and mends his ways he might be appointed as the imam of one of the 494 masjids under our association,” said Maulana Sharafat Abrar, convenor of the committee.
He added that Barkati had brought a bad name to the entire community and presented a tainted picture of a Muslim to other communities. He also condemned Barkati’s fatwa against Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying, “He has been giving out anti national comments and the fatwa against Prime Minister Modi was outrageous. No one has the right to insult any elected public representative of the country. He had also said that he didn’t care about the law of the land. In that case he should be driven out of the country,” Abrar said.
Later in the evening, an application on behalf of Barkati had been put to impose Section 144 around the masjid premises. Bowbazar PS had been directed to look into the matter.