Bengal cleric, who announced reward for shaving Sonu Nigam’s head, complains of receiving death threat
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Bengal cleric, who announced reward for shaving Sonu Nigam’s head, complains of receiving death threat

Quaderi told the police that he got an sms on Friday afternoon when he was at his in law’s place in Entally in Kolkata.

kolkata Updated: Apr 22, 2017 18:18 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
Sonu Nigam,Fatwa,Quaderi
Quaderi filed the complaint in Kolkata on Friday afternoon and alleged that he got an sms that said he and his family members will be gunned down if he speaks against Sonu Nigam again.

The cleric from Bengal, who stirred nationwide controversy by announcing a reward of Rs 10 lakh for anyone who can shave Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam’s head for making ‘derogatory’ remarks against azaan, has complained to the police alleging he has received death threats for speaking up against the singer.

According to the complaint lodged with the office-in-charge of Entally police station just after 2 pm on April 22, an sms landed on Quaderi’s cell phone that threatened to pump bullets into his body and those of his family members should he dare to utter a word against Nigam.

Read: Man who announced reward wriggles out even as Sonu Nigam shaves head

The sms was allegedly composed in Hindi and Quaderi got it on Saturday afternoon when he was at his in law’s place in Entally.

After Quaderi’s announcement of the Rs 10 lakh reward, Sonu Nigam got his head shaved of in front of TV cameras and asked for the money. Sonu Nigam’s first tweet was on April 17, 2017. (HT Photo)

“How did you dare to speak against Sonu Nigam who is the pride of Hindustan? Now listen, if you dare to say another word against him I will pump bullets inside you and the members of your family. None can save you,” read the purported sms.

“In view of such threat, not only my wife and minor son , my In Laws too are also scared of it and therefore request you to kindly order for a thorough investigation and bring the culprit to justice,” wrote Quaderi in the complaint.

Significantly, Quaderi introduces himself as the 35th descendant of the Prophet of Islam, something that he also mentioned in the police complaint.

Quaderi is a “pir sahab” of a little-known Khanka Sharif at Bagnan in West Bengal’s Howrah district.

Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen joined the controversy and alleged that a Kolkata imam who announced a reward of Rs 50,000 in 2006 for blackening her face did not pay up too when a friend smeared her face with ink. (HT Photo)

His offer of Rs 10 lakh reward came hours after Nigam tweeted against the Islamic call for prayer, azaan, and called the custom “forced religiousness”. The bounty was widely criticised and ridiculed, especially after Nigam got his head shaved and challenged Quaderi to pay up. But the cleric refused to pay up and argued that he put two other conditions -- wearing a garland of old, torn shoes and touring the country wearing it -- in order to be eligible for the bounty.

Interestingly, one of the religious leaders Quaderi seeks inspiration from is Bengal’s ‘Fatwa Imam’ Noor-ur-Rehman Barkati, who has issued fatwa against a number of personalities including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.

Read: Sonu Nigam takes cleric up on challenge to get head shaved, invites press as witness

Responding to how Quaderi wriggled out of his promise, Nasrin tweeted on Thursday, “Kolkata Imam once issued fatwa whoever blackens my face will get Rs 50,000. A friend blackened my face. But Imam didn’t give money. Imams r liars.” The fatwa she was referring to was issued in 2006.

Quaderi also holds the position of vice-president of West Bengal United Minority Council.

First Published: Apr 22, 2017 18:18 IST