Controversial Islamic cleric Maulana Noor-ur Rehman Barkati – also known as India’s red bearded Mullah – who had refused to take off red beacon from his vehicle and warned of jihad against India, has finally been sacked today from the post of Shahi Imam by the Wakf Estate trustee board of Tipu Sultan Masjid for his objectionable and inflammatory remarks against the country.
“We have removed him as the imam of the mosque for his anti-national statements. We never expect an imam, who is a religious person, to cross his line and misuse his post,” Prince Ghulam Ahmed Wakf Estate trustee Arif Ahmed told reporters.
Ahmed said Barkati was using the mosque for political purpose and for his own financial gains. “He was cautioned earlier for his activities. Recently, he was served a show-cause notice for his speeches to incite people,” he said.
“We have sent him a notice of termination and he has been asked to vacate the office room allotted to him. We have asked his deputy to conduct prayers and we will appoint a new imam very soon,” Ahmed said.
Barkati, the second generation imam from his family, had been holding the post of Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid since 1989. He took over the charge of Shahi Imam from his father.
Barkati, considered close to Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had warned of a ‘jihad’ against India. “There will be jihad if anybody try to make India into a Hindu Rashtra,” Barkati had said.
He had openly defied Centre’s directive to use red beacon on non-emergency vehicles. “I have been using the red beacon for decades. I do not 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 the red beacon,” he had asserted.
While reacting to a question at a Press conference that the Calcutta High Court also denied him to allow his red light in the car previously, he had said, “Does this Calcutta High Court belong to Govt. of India? It was built by the Britishers. It should be destroyed. We have not established it yet. We want to make a new for us”.
Later, Barkati removed the red beacon from his car after multiple police complaints were lodged against him by various political and citizen groups of Kolkata. But he, however, had stated that no one has the guts to arrest him.
Barkati had also said that if Muslims join or work for RSS and BJP then they should be ousted from the community and would be beaten up.