Waris Pathan retracts ’15 crore are heavier’ remark, alleges conspiracy
AIMIM leader Waris Pathan on Saturday retracted his controversial remark which was roundly criticised as “inflammatory” and offered an apology to those it hurt. However, he claimed that his comments were “twisted” in a political conspiracy.
Waris Pathan was accused of stoking communal disturbance by alleging “15 crore can outgun 100 crore” during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act rally at Kalaburagi in North Karnataka on February 16.
He now says his statement was twisted in a bid to defame him and his party.
“My statement is being twisted to target and defame me and my party due to a political conspiracy. However, I take back my words if they hurt anyone and apologise for the same,” Pathan was quoted as saying by ANI.
A criminal complaint has been filed in a Bihar court against Pathan and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul- Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi accusing them of “promoting enmity between two communities on grounds of religion”, said PTI. The petition demanding a stern punishment has been listed for hearing on March 4.
Owaisi has been made “accused number 2” in the petition as he was present on the stage when Pathan made the remark, the petitioner Sudhir Kumar Ojha told PTI.
“We have to move together. We have to take ‘Aazadi’ (freedom), things that we don’t get by asking, we have to take it by force, remember it... (We maybe) 15 crore but are heavy on 100 (crore), remember it,” Pathan can be heard saying in a video, said PTI.
AIMIM won the Kishanganj seat in a Bihar bypoll last year by defeating BJP candidate Sweety Singh by a margin of over 10,000 votes.
AIMIM’s Maharashtra unit chief Imtiyaz Jaleel has distanced the party from Pathan’s remarks. Jaleel said he will be asked for an explanation.