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Minorities panel notice to ex-Waqf chief Rizvi over his SC plea to remove 26 Quran verses

The notice to Rizvi comes day after protests broke out in various parts of Uttar Pradesh and Hyderabad demanding his arrest.

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New Delhi: The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Monday issued a notice to Waseem Rizvi, a former chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, for moving the Supreme Court with a plea seeking removal of some verses of the Quran claiming they promote violence. 

“The commission is of the opinion that the statement given by you appears to be a well thought out conspiracy to disturb the communal harmony of the country,” reads the notice, accessed by ThePrint. 

The commission has asked Rizvi to withdraw his comments and tender an unconditional apology, failing which it will hold a hearing and direct authorities to take appropriate legal action against Rizvi.

In a recent PIL in the Supreme Court, Rizvi has demanded the removal of 26 verses from the Quran claiming terrorists used these verses to “promote jihad”.

‘Statement prejudicial to national interest’

In its notice to Rizvi, the commission has said his statement is “provocative and disturbs the balance of communal harmony of a secular nation and has hurt the sentiments of a religious minority community”. 

The notice comes just a day after protests broke out in different parts of the country Lucknow and Hyderabad demanding Rizvi’s arrest. 

The minorities panel said while it has acted on the complaint of four persons, it has received over a hundred complaints against Rizvi. 

“While our notice comes on the complaint of four people, we have actually received at least 150 complaints against Rizvi in the past few days,” said Atif Rasheed, chairperson, NCM. “Muslims’ sentiments have been hurt across the country.” 

The commission’s mandate includes monitoring the functioning of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and looking into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights of minorities, among others. It became a statutory body in 1992. 

The notice also said Rizvi’s statement violated IPC sections 153A, which relates to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, and 295A, which relates to deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs.

“The statement is highly provocative, objectionable and malicious, prejudicial to maintenance of peace and harmony, with intent to outrage the religious feelings of a particular community and to insult the particular religion,” the notice reads. 

Repeat offender Rizvi

Rizvi, however, is not new to controversy

In 2018, he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to shut down madrasas as they bred “terrorists”. In 2017, he had said the Shia Waqf Board is in favour of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya. 

ThePrint tried to reach Rizvi through phone for a comment but he could not be contacted. 

Rasheed, however, said while the apex court will look into the PIL, religious feelings cannot be outraged like this. “We will also examine the matter and the Supreme Court will also take its own decision,” he added. “But this country cannot run on insults. You cannot insult the Quran and try to become a hero.”


Also read: Muslims holding Quran and computer can crack UPSC. But for some, they are still jihadis


 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s a man who is putting at stake everything for the sake of peace in the country.
    Is this the sad country you want to live in…where you get branded as an “offender” for someone who has the guts to call a spade a spade and put his everything at risk for it? Very disappointed with this article.
    Btw, where is “freedom of expression” that you tomtom about all the time? Is it valid only for some people in the country?

    • Kya peace hai you should remove that portion where ur so called pandavas played satranj biwi ko to apna chora he ni
      Ur Lord cut down the nose of a lady
      Even left his own wife

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