Ex-UP min booked for defending Paris attack, scholars slam him

Meerut/Lucknow: Former UP minister and BSP leader Haji Yakub Qureshi has been booked in connection with his controversial remarks defending the terror attack on a French satirical magazine even as Muslim scholars slammed him for resorting to "cheap publicity gimmick".

As the scholars demanded strict action against Qureshi, Uttar Pradesh police today said it would seek permission of the court before probing the case registered against him.

"A case under IPC section 505(1)(c) (with intent to incite, or likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community) was registered against Qureshi last night in the Kotwali police station(in Meerut). We will seek permission of the court before probing the matter," IG(Law and Order) A Satish Ganesh told reporters in Lucknow.

Ganesh said that as per provisions, court's permission is needed to probe such cases and added that police would follow the process. The case was lodged on the complaint of Inspector Lal Singh.

Qureshi had yesterday courted controversy when he sought to defend the terror attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo, saying whoever shows disrespect to the Prophet will invite death.

"Prophet Mohammad had conveyed a message of peace to the entire world and if anyone makes certain cartoons on him will invite death like the cartoonists and journalists in Paris," Qureshi had said in comments that came at a time when the massacre came in for all-round condemnation across the world.

Qureshi, however, denied reports in which he was stated to have said that he will reward the attackers who killed Charlie Hebdo's Editor and cartoonist of the controversial Prophet poster with Rs 51 crore.

Four of France's most famous cartoonists were among the dozen people killed on Wednesday when gunmen attacked the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo. In 2006, Qureshi had stoked a huge controversy when he declared a reward of Rs 51 crore for anyone who would kill the Danish cartoonist who had created a controversial cartoon of Prophet Mohammed. He had made the offer at a public rally in Meerut.

"Instead of condemning the attack on the French magazine and loss of lives, he went ahead and announced a reward for the killers... this is most condemnable," All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) General Secretry Maulana Nizamuddin told PTI in Lucknow.

"This remark of Qureshi is aimed at garnering cheap publicity and the gimmick needs to condemned by all," he said.

All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) spokesman Maulana Yasoob Abbas said Qureshi's statement was "childish" and sought strict action against him failing which such elements would feel emboldened.

Director of world renowned Islamic academic institution - Darul Musannefeen Azamgarh - Ishtiyaq Ahmed Zilli said Qureshi's statement is against the basic tenets of Islam.

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