Kolkata: An FIR has been lodged against Maulana Noor-ur Rehman Barkati, the shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid, for refusing to comply with the Centre’s ban on the use of lal batti (red beacon).
The FIR was lodged by one Suraj Kumar Singh in Topsia. Defying the government order, Barkati had yesterday said that he was not bound to follow the order and that as a religious leader, it was his “right” to do so.
Barkati had said, “I am a religious leader and 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 the red beacon”, Barkati said.
The central government’s decision to have red beacons removed from all vehicles, including that of the prime minister from May 1, was aimed at seeking to end the VIP culture.
The West Bengal BJP slammed the Imam for defying the Union cabinet’s order.
“From where does he get the audacity to defy the decision of the union government? The state government must take immediate action against him. Being from the minority community is no reason for him to do whatever he wants”, said state BJP secretary Locket Chatterjee.