KOLKATA -- Maulana Nurur Rehman Barkati was on Wednesday sacked as the Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque for "objectionable and inflammatory remarks against the country".
Following the Centre's ban on the use of red beacon in non-emergency vehicles, Barkati had on May 11 said, "I am a religious leader and I have been using the red beacon for the past several decades. I don't follow the orders of the Centre. Who are they to order me? In Bengal, only the orders of the state government are effective. I will use red beacon. In Bengal, no one has removed red beacon."
A day later, he had claimed that he would not remove the red beacon "even if Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked him to".
His comments were criticised by most Muslim leaders and clerics in the state.
Siddiqullah Chowdhury, state Library Minister and a cleric, had even demonstrated against Barkati on May 13 near the mosque.
A number of police complaints were also lodged against the Imam in different police stations of Bengal.
Later, Kolkata Police officers visited Barkati and the red beacon was removed from his car.
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