New Delhi: In a remarkable show of restraint in the face of violence, Imam of a mosque in the communally tense Asansol has said that he would leave the town if there was any attempt to avenge the death of his son.
Sibtulla Rashidi, 16, was reported missing after communal clashes in Rail Par area of Asansol on Tuesday afternoon. His body was recovered late on Wednesday night and identified on Thursday. He is suspected to have been beaten to death.
Maulana Imdadul Rashidi on Thursday presided over a congregation where he appealed for peace.
“I want peace. My boy has been taken away. I don’t want any more families to lose their loved ones. I don’t want any more houses to burn. I have already told the gathering that I will leave Asansol if there is any kind of retaliation. I told them that if you love me, you will not raise a finger,” said Rashidi, Imam of Noorani Mosque in Chetladanga Nadi Par.
“I have been an Imam for the last 30 years. It is important that I give the right message to the people — a message of peace. I need to get over my personal loss. People of Asansol are not like this. This is a conspiracy,” he said.
Jitendra Tiwari, the Mayor of Asansol, was all praises for Imam for “calming the angry youth” and cooperating with the administration.
Taking a strong view of the situation, the administration has clamped Section 144 in the area and the Internet services continue to be suspended.
BJP president Amit Shah has constituted a four-member committee to visit affected areas in Asansol and submit a report.
The Asansol-Raniganj area has been tense since clashes broke out on Monday following the Ram Navami processions.
The Centre has sought a report from the West Bengal government on the violence.