The police in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi district have filed a first information report against All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen leader Waris Pathan for suggesting that Indian Muslims could dominate other communities, ANI reported.
Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha member Dhananjay Deshpande filed the complaint, according to The Hindu. The police booked Pathan under Sections 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, etc), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
“To those saying we have only put our women at the forefront – only the lionesses are out and you’re already sweating,” Pathan had allegedly said at a rally last week in the context of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. “Imagine what would happen if we all came together. We are 15 crore, but that can outweigh 100 crore, remember that.”
On Friday, the party’s Maharashtra chief and Aurangabad MP Imtiyaz Jaleel said the party does not support Pathan’s comments. “The party will seek an explanation from him over the remarks,” he added. “If needed, we will come out with a set of dos and don’ts for the party workers while giving speech.”
Pathan, a former MLA from Byculla in Mumbai, claimed he had been quoted out of context. “I hereby wish to reiterate that I can never say anything intentionally or unintentionally that hurts the sentiments of any caste, community or gender,” he tweeted on Friday. “I am a proud Indian and respects the plurality of this country.”
The politician claimed he was angry “just like many other Indians” about the citizenship law. “Neither me nor my party supports anything that creates a divide between people on the basis of caste, creed and religion,” he added.