WB minister flouts Centre’s order, uses red beacon on vehicle

Kolkata (West Bengal), May 13 : West Bengal Minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury, who had questioned the Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque, Maulana Noor-ur Rehman Barkati, over the use of the red beacon, was himself using it atop his vehicle.

"Barkati is Imam and I am a minister of the state government. I will remove the red beacon as soon as the government orders for it," Chowdhury told ANI. Earlier in the day, Imam Barkati, who had initially refused to remove the red beacon from his car, finally agreed to follow the Centre's order.

Defying the Centre's order, Barkati had earlier said that he would continue to use the red beacon as the permission for it was given by the erstwhile "British Government".

"I will remove red beacon once everyone does the same. I will continue to use as I have got permission from British government," Barkati said. He further said that he has been using the red beacon for decades and wouldn't take orders from the Centre.

On Friday, an FIR was also lodged against Maulana Barkati after a BJP leader Suraj Kumar Singh registered a complaint against him for not complying with the Centre's ban on the use of the red beacon.

The Central Government imposed a ban on use of red beacon on vehicles attached to dignitaries from May 1.

The ban applies to union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court while President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha Speaker are exempted from the ban.

Source: ANI