Maharashtra to probe Waris Pathan’s ’15 crore’ comment
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said on Saturday that the state police was probing AIMIM national spokesman Waris Pathan’s allegedly controversial comments made at an anti-CAA rally in Karnataka on February 16.
Pathan is reported to have said that “15 crore (Muslims) are enough for 100 crore (Hindus)” in the country.
Deshmukh also said that his department would take appropriate action, if necessary, against Pathan – who is an ex-MLA from Mumbai, for making incendiary remarks.
A video surfaced on Thursday showing Pathan in the act of doling out the perceived threat. He has been booked at Kalaburagi, Karnataka under Section 117, 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) of the Indian Penal Code.
A petition against Pathan has also been filed in a Bihar court, which will hear the matter on March 4.
The former Byculla MLA while addressing a rally on February 19 at Kalaburagi in Karnataka is alleged to have told the audience that one must snatch ‘aazadi’ (freedom) if not given. He added that the “lionesses have made all sweat”, referring to the Shaheen Bagh protesters, mostly women.
The Maharashtra unit chief of AIMIM and Aurangabad Lok Sabha member, Imtiyaz Jaleel said his party does not support Pathan’s statement. “The party will seek an explanation from him over the remarks,” he said.
Pathan’s statement was widely condemned following which he retracted it with a conditional apology earlier on Saturday.
However, he claimed his speech was distorted as a result of a political conspiracy against him and his party.