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Storm over AIMIM Waris Pathan’s ‘communal speech’

Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) A huge political storm has erupted over a former Mumbai legislator of All Indian Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Waris Pathan for his comments at an anti-CAA protest in neighbouring Karnataka.

While the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Bala Nandgaonkar has issued an open threat to Pathan, activist lawyer Syed Ejaz Abbas ‘Naqvi’ has written to the police to lodge a first information report against him.

The howls of protests started after Pathan’s February 15 comments in Kalburgi where he reportedly said that “15 crore (Muslims) will prove stronger than the 100-crore majority”.

“They say we have kept our women in the forefront. I want to tell these people — only the lionesses have come out and you are in a cold sweat. You can understand what would happen if all of us come together.

“We are just 15 crore but can be a bigger force than the 100-crore majority population,” Pathan said. He added that the minority community could well snatch “your azaadi”.

As the issue snowballed into a political controversy, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday is understood to gagged Pathan and has ordered him not to speak with the media till further orders.

MNS leader Nandgaonkar issued a “warning” to the AIMIM ex-legislator, daring him to a challenge for which he would be taught an appropriate lesson.

Mumbai lawyer Naqvi has alleged that Pathan is being allegedly financed by “another hate-monger from Nagpur” who are the biggest beneficiary of the hate-speeches of AIMIM and demanded a probe into both sides.

In a statement, Pathan said that he was “totally quoted out of context” by the media on his Kalburgi (Gulbarga) meeting, where even Owaisi and other senior leaders were present.

“I hereby wish to reiterate that I can never say anything intentionally or unintentionally that hurts the sentiments of any caste, community or gender. I am a proud Indian and respect the plurality of this country,” said Pathan.

He added that like many other Indians who have faith in the Constitution, he was angry by the sheer neglect of the government in addressing the issues concerning the CAA-NRC-NPR against which people have been protesting all over the country in a demokcratic manner.

“Neither me, nor my party supports anything that creates a divide between people on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Jai Hind,” said Pathan.




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