When an Imam looked taller than Bollywood singer-turned-BJP leader during Bengal violence

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Asansol: A customary glance through the tweets and retweets of the Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Babul Supriyo between March 26 to March 31, reveals how politicians can only think of gaining political mileage instead of spreading message of love during trying times. The minister is yet to make any official tweet, requesting the two communities to forget hate and propagate peace in the violence hit towns, Asansol and Raniganj of West Bengal. But, an Imam of a mosque in Asansol, whose teenage son was killed during the violence that occurred in Asansol and Raniganj, not only appealed for peace but also urged people to not retaliate. He maintained that if people didn’t act towards restoring peace, he will be compelled to leave the city.

Babul, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Member of Parliament from Asansol, through his tweets on the contrary has been targeting Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Trinamul Congress (TMC) cadres, and local administration, for the violence that broke out in Raniganj and Asansol.

However, the word peace or harmony was clearly missing from the hundreds of tweets that Babul had tweeted. The Bollywood singer–turned-politician, through his tweets clearly indicated that he was the leader of just one community. Several of his tweets mentioned words like ‘minority’ and ‘Hindus’, which can be seen as a clear indication of fueling the already tense situation. In one of his tweets, he even ahead to say – “will skin them alive” (Chamra uthiye debo).

The Asansol MP was sharply criticised by a few tweeteratis and even reminded that he is not the leader of just one community.

Babul, who had won million a hearts with his melodious voice, was dwarfed in stature by the Imam of Noori Masjid — Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, who lost his 16-year-old son during the communal riots that broke in Asansol. During the funeral of his teenage son, when a huge crowd seething with anger had assembled for the prayers and burial, the grieving father was seen requesting the angry congregation to opt for peace.

He said, “If you respect me for my thirty-years of service to this masjid, then I request you all to maintain peace and law order of the country. My son is gone and I don’t want anyone else to loose theirs.” He even added that if the people chose to retaliate, then he would leave both the mosque and Asansol. Those present during the funeral broke down into tears after listening to the Imam.

“He spoke to us twice, before and after the prayer. We cried listening to him, and from now on, our respect for him has immensely increased,” said Ashfaque Khan, a resident of Rail Paar area of Asansol, who had attended the funeral of Imam’s son, while speaking to eNewsroom.

With the news of the Imam spreading love and not hate spread across the country, the Babul had no option but to retract from what he had earlier said. He tweeted that he regretted the choice of words (skinning them alive) he used while tweeting; and even went on to salute the Imam.

Meanwhile, the Asansol administration has lodged an FIR against the MoS for inciting violence during troubled times.

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