A police inspector in Nanded town of Maharashtra has been transferred after he issued a notice to a 'maulvi' of a local mosque, allegedly asking him to ensure that no one speaks against cow slaughter ban during a protest rally planned over the issue.
Apart from transferring police inspector Subhash Rathod of the Airport police station, an inquiry has also been ordered after a row was triggered with Congress and other opposition parties dubbed it as a virutal 'fatwa' and infringement on the religious rights of people.
While giving permission to a joint demonstration planned by Republican Party of India (RPI) and the Qureshi community in Nanded on April 24 to protest against the BJP-led state Government's ban on cow progeny slaughter, Rathod had issued a notice to the 'moulvi' of a local mosque telling him that protesters should not be allowed to speak on the issue.
Opposition leaders, including former chief minister and MPCC chief Ashok Chavan, have come out strongly against the police officer's action and criticised the authorities to failure to act.
"As soon as the matter was brought to our notice, Rathod was removed from the Airport police station and shifted to the control room," Superintendent of Police of Nanded, Paramjit Singh Dahiya, told PTI.
"Since the issue is serious, a preliminary inquiry has also been ordered into it," he added.
However, the police officer claimed that Rathod might have inadvertently missed the word "provocative" in the notice, which gave it an entirely different dimension to it.
"In the notice, instead of asking the organisers not to give a provocative speech during the morcha, Rathod mistakenly typed only speech and missed the word provocative," Dahiya said. He, however, added this was a serious lapse calling for departmental action.
Rathod had issued notice to the cleric under section 149 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)-- which said that every police officer may interpose for the purpose of preventing, and shall, to the best of his ability, prevent, the commission of any cognisable offence.
Citing the incident, the Congress has accused BJP-led state government of "indulging in religious and social polarisation".