Bengal Minister who questioned Imam Barkati’s use of Red Beacon is no stranger to controversies

West Bengal’s minister of mass Education Siddiqullah Chowdhury has courted controversy after it was found that he was using a Red Beacon even though he had questioned others for doing the same. Red Beacons were outlawed for VVIPs from 1st May and since then most have complied with the order.

The controversy has arisen mostly in West Bengal where the erstwhile Shahi Imam Barkati of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan Mosque had refused to remove the Red Beacon from his car by claiming that Bengal had rules which were different from the rest of India. He had further courted controversy after claiming that no one had the guts to arrest him after multiple FIRs were filed against him for not following the law and for allegedly making anti-national statements. After all the backlash he was forced to remove his red beacon and was subsequently removed from his post by the Tipu Sultan Mosque’s board of trustees.

One of those who had reportedly questioned Imam Barkati for his use of the red beacon was Minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury who though wasn’t practicing what he preached:

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Siddiqullah Chowdhury who is also the secretary of the Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind in his defense has claimed Barkati was an Imam but he is a Minister of the State Government and hence had rights to use the red beacon. He further claimed that he would immediately remove it from his car after he receives an order for the same.

This has resulted in Imam Barkati getting an opportunity to take potshots at the minister. Barkati alleged that Siddiqullah Chowdhury had not followed CM Mamata’s order, whereas he had complied and removed his beacon. Barkati also claimed that he would write to Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind aksing for the removal of Siddiqullah Chowdhury from the post of the secretary and also claimed that he (Siddiqullah) had disrupted the communal harmony in the state.

This isn’t the only time Siddiqullah Chowdhury has courted controversy. In 2014 before he became the Minister, he had made a speech stating that he and his organisation had decided to provide legal aid to the two accused in the Khagragarh blast case. Reportedly he had further stated that he wasn’t convinced of their guilt until it was proven in the courts. In the same speech he had warned Mamata Banerjee against allowing NIA, NSG and CID to conduct raids at the madrasas in the state.

Siddiqullah Chowdhury has also been making odd statements recently. On Saturday he had alleged that Imam Barkati was a RSS agent as he was providing ammunition to the Sangh Parivar via his statements.


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