Barkati refuses to quit as Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque

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Kolkata's Imam Noorur Barkati - known for his controversial fatwas or religious decrees and closeness to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee - was sacked from his post at the Tipu Sultan Mosque today.

"We have lodged a police complaint against the serving Imam, Maulana Noor-ur Rehman Barkati in Bowbazar police station for forcefully snatching away the keys of the mosque's official room", head of the Board, Anwar Ali Shah said.

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. Barkati refused to attach any importance to the termination notice.

The decision was taken after a series of complaints were about his comments.

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The scuffle between Barkati's supporters and local people started soon after the completion of the Asr Namaz (afternoon daily prayer) on Thursday.

Asked if Barkati was removed under political pressure, Ahmed said, "There was no such pressure". The two-page "Notice of termination of service" was issued to Barkati by Arif Ahmed, trustee of Prince Gholam Mohammad Waqf Estate here. "Then give us Pakistan, we will fight for Pakistan", Barkati said. They have got no right to remove me as Imam.I have been serving as Imam for the last 30 years. Barkati had refused to remove the red beacon from his auto and had issued fatwa multiple times against the Prime Minister also. He also condemned Barkati's fatwa against Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying, "He has been giving out anti national comments and the fatwa against Prime Minister Modi was outrageous. If he wants to enter active politics he must discontinue as imam", said Abrar.

"There is no question of accepting my removal order as I am not an employee of the mosque and I do not take salary from the trust", Barkati said. While she sent Firhad Hakim, minister in charge of urban development to Barkati's residence and urged him to remove the beacon and obey law of the land, her cabinet colleague Siddiqulah Chaudhury held a media conference where he called Barkati an RSS agent and enemy of Islam. He has issued fatwa faster than the centuries of Virat Kohli from the Tipu Sultan Mosque of Kolkata.

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