Scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar met senior police officers on Saturday, about the email death threat he was sent for his comments against a religious fatwa.
Akhtar had spoken out against the fatwa, which prohibits women from working in offices in the proximity of men. The fatwa also decreed that the acceptance of a woman’s earnings by her family was against the Sharia.
“It’s not new or unusual for me to receive such threats, but this time it was in detail and sounded sinister,” Akhtar told the media after meeting Additional Commissioner of Police (West), Amitabh Gupta.
He said he showed the email to the police, who have promised action.
“I spoke to the police last night, today I came and showed them the email,” Akhtar added.
Sources said the email warned him that he should either apologise for his comments or be ready to face the consequences. “Your countdown has begun,” the mail is reported to say.
“Some time ago, a fatwa was issued against celebrating Prophet Muhammed’s birthday, but it was rejected by some other scholars,” Akhtar said: “There is no clear thought behind such fatwas.”
Akhtar, a Rajya Sabha member, who had criticised an Islamic cleric during a TV show while debating the fatwa in question, said he has been provided security after he lodged his complaint.
Gupta said a formal complaint has been registered.
“We will investigate further and then decide on the course of action,” he told Hindustan Times, adding that the police are examining several emails that Akhtar gave them. “The mails have come from several email IDs,” Gupta said.
He added that the Cyber Cell has been asked to look into the threat mails, and said they are trying to identify the origin and sender of the mail.