Imran Masood, the Congress leader who threatened to chop BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi into pieces, has been produced in the Deoband court amidst heavy security as his supporters created chaos outside the court.
After his recent comments on Narendra Modi brought him to the forefront, Imran Masood has become embroiled in a BJP-Congress face-off. While the Congress has defended him, calling the whole incident a conspiracy hatched by the opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party has asked for an explanation from Rahul Gandhi.
After Masood's arrest, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi cancelled his scheduled visit to Saharanpur on Saturday.
Imran Masood has refused to apologise for the statement saying, "I will only apologize if Modi apologises for 2002 Gujarat riots."
Who's Imran Masood?
Imran Masood is an Indian politician belonging to Indian National Congress. He is a former member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly elected from Muzaffarabad in Saharanpur district in 2007.
Imran Masood is nephew of Rashid Masood a former minister and is contesting 2014 election from Saharanpur (Lok Sabha constituency). Imran was earlier in Samajwadi Janata Party.
He was recently in News for threatening the BJP's Prime-ministerial Candidate, Narendra Modi, to 'Chop' him to pieces as a apt response to his Member of Parliament Candidature from Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi Seat.
The controversy so far:
(Congress leader Imran Masood in a screen-shot from the video)
*A video of Congress candidate from Saharanpur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Imran Masood, abusing BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi went viral online.
*The leader was caught on tape saying that he will “chop Modi into small pieces”.
*The video by India TV shows Masood saying, “UP is not Gujarat. There is only 4% Muslim population in Gujarat but in UP there are 22% Muslims here. I will fight against Narendra Modi because I know how to give a fitting reply to him. We will cut him into pieces."
*According to Siyasat.com, Masood told a daily that the statement could be an old one. He also clarified his statement saying that what he meant was that he would teach Modi a lesson through the democratic process.
*BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi on Friday took strong exception to the intimidating comments made by Congress candidate from Saharanpur, Imran Masood on Narendra Modi.
*The website also reports that Masood refused to apologise for his comment against the BJP leader saying, "“I am ready to offer my apology only after Modi apologises for his misdeeds in Gujarat”.
*Soon after the video was picked by up online and media portals, Maulana Khalid Rashid issued a statement slamming Masood's remarks on Modi.
*An FIR was registered against Masood on Friday for his controversial remarks at Deoband police station of Saharanpur.
*Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who was scheduled to address an election rally in Saharanpur today, has reportedly cancelled the event in the wake of Masood's arrest.
*The comment – “Hum Modi ki kutti kaat denge (We will chop Modi into pieces)” – made by Masood evoked sharp reactions from within political circles.
*The Congress nominee was booked under Section 125 (promoting enmity between classes in connection with election) of the Representation Of The People Act, and under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
*Besides, the nephew of former Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rashid Masood was also booked under provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
*He later apologised for his remarks, saying, "I should have been more cautious with my words" and that the same were said in the heat of electioneering.
*Saharanpur district magistrate as well as district election officer Sandhya Tiwari said a CD with the recordings of Masood's statement had been received by them which has been forwarded to the Election Commission.
*The BJP has condemned Masood's remarks and asked the Election Commission to take strict note of it, while ensuring the safety and security of all its leaders including Modi.
*The BJP will make an official complaint with the EC on Saturday and a high-level delegation of the party would meet top poll officials in Delhi, seeking strong action against Masood's remarks.
*BJP leader Arun Jaitley accused the Congress of using inappropriate language, saying it started with Sonia Gandhi's "Maut Ka Saudagar" comment on Modi.
*In his blog, Jaitley said: "This is not an isolated case of an unacceptable attack on Narendra Modi. Sonia Gandhi, Lalu Prasad, Digvijaya Singh, Mani Shankar Aiyar have all led attacks on Modi in improper language. It started with Sonia Gandhi's words 'Maut Ka Saudagar'," Jaitley said.
*BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged that political secularism was being converted into "Talibani secularism" and the kind of language used by Congress leaders is vitiating the atmosphere of elections.
*BJP's state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said the comments were not only threatening but also against the code of ethics that most politicians observe.
*Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja called it a serious matter. “The EC and law-and-order agencies must take note,” said Raja.
*While BJP sought clarification on the matter from Rahul Gandhi, he cancelled his Saharanpur rally. Congress hit back at BJP calling it the opposition party's ploy to mislead people before Lok sabha elections.