Nothing seems to be able to deter the Shahi Imam Barkati of Tipu Sultan Mosque, Maulana Nurur Rehman Barkati as he stated on Tuesday, “Even if PM Modi himself comes to me and asks me not to use the ‘lal batti’, I will not oblige to him.”
Incidentally, the Narendra Modi government had banned the use of red beacon lights on VVIP vehicles across India from the 1st of May. Post the ban, officials of only five categories: the Prime Minister, President, Vice- President, Chief Justice of India, and the Lok Sabha Speaker will be allowed to use the red beacon.
In the words of Barkati, “I am a Shahi Imam and hence I won’t give up red beacon despite court’s order. A Shahi Imam has been using ‘lal batti’ since the CPI(M)’s period and nobody has ever objected to it.”
On being questioned about the recent change in laws regarding the red beacon, Barkati proclaimed that a Shahi Imam is not bound by laws. Also, according to him, the government has no right to ban the red light.
On being told about every other minister’s adherence to the newly changed laws throughout the country, he said, “Ministers go to people’s houses and beg for votes, hence they have no right to use the red beacon.”
He even went as far as to say that Mamata Banerjee herself has given him the permission to use the red beacon. “West Bengal is different from rest of the country. Rules and regulations are decided here by the state government and not Centre. Here, the state government has permitted me to use the ‘lal batti’.”
Interestingly, the state CM, Mamata Banerjee has kept absolutely quiet about the entire incident.
He claims, “I will continue to use (it) as I have got permission from the (erstwhile) British government.”
Watch the Imam make his astonishing demands here.
Image credits: Google
Special thanks: India Today
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