Kolkata: Controversial Muslim cleric Noor- ur- Rehman Barkati was sacked on Wednesday as the shahi imam of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan mosque after months of controversy over a series of fatwas and refusal to give up the red beacon.
A meeting of the trustees of the important mosque announced that Barkati – considered close to chief minister Mamata Banerjee was removed for “objectionable and inflammatory remarks against the country”, ANI reported.
Barkati courted controversy in January when he issued a fatwa against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other prominent names to have drawn his ire include author Salman Rushdie, Bangladesh-born writer Taslima Nasreen and Canadian columnist Tarek Fateh.
Barkati fell out of favour with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, one of his strongest backers once, last week after he warned of a ‘jihad’ if India was declared a Hindu state and also refused to take off the red beacon from his car. Barkati headed the mosque for 28 years.