'Won't let Barkati perform namaz', say protestors in Kolkata

Controversial cleric sacked as head of Kolkata mosque

Controversial cleric sacked as head of Kolkata mosque

Kolkata: Controversial imam Maulana Noor-ur-Rahman Barkati was on Wednesday removed as the head cleric of the prominent Tipu Sultan mosque by the wakf trustee board for making "anti-national" statements.

"We have sent him the notice of termination and he has been asked to vacate the office room allotted to him".

A number of police complaints were also lodged against the Imam in different police stations of Bengal.

The letter pulled up Barkati for not responding to two requests for explaining his conduct and failing to respond to the show cause notice issued to him.

It also warned Barkati that "appropriate action" would be taken if he chose to "violate any terms of the letter of termination".

However, the controversial cleric refused to acknowledge trustee board's order and declines to step down from the post. I have been reiterating that the reason he is courageous enough to say anti-India remarks because of the fact that Chief Minister ( Mamata Banerjee) was protecting him.

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Recently, it was reported that he fell out of favour with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was once one of his strongest supporters.

Week ago, Barkati triggered huge controversy after he refused to remove red beacon from his vehicle, when Central government's ban on lal batti has come into effect since May 1.

Shahi Imam is designated to administer namaz to royal families. The recent controversy that led to severe embarrassment of the state government and ultimately his removal was his persistent refusal to remove red beacons from the vehicle he travels.

Later Imam Barkati drew flak when he expressed his wish to fight for Pakistan.

Ahmed also described as "technically incorrect" Barkati's claims of being a "Shahi Imam". The Imam of Jama Masjid in Delhi was appointed by the Mughal dynasty. In the midst of it, Barkati was hit on the head, said sources.

Asked about Barkati's successor, Ahmed said nothing has been decided about that. According to the reports, the Trustee Board is upset with his anti-national comment and has chose to go ahead with the decision to banish him from the mosque. Choosing an Imam of such a prestigious mosque is a time consuming process.

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