West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in for a shock when the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation, a body comprising Muslim clerics and scholars from all across the state, rallied in protest of the government’s decision to pay Rs 10,000 to each of the 28,000 Durga puja clubs across the state.
Banerjee in 2011 gave a fillip to minority appeasement when she promised to provide stipends to Imams. It has now come back to haunt her as they are calling for an increase in the stipend. Surprisingly some of the Imams and scholars participating in the rally are reported to be close to Banerjee.
The Muslim community is blaming Banerjee of betraying them and appeasing Hindus by saying that if Hindus can be given money for pujas, Imams’ stipend too should be increased. The Imams demanded that the WB government should provide aid for at least 10,000 Madrasas across the state apart from having a Muslim police commissioner in Kolkata and more representation in police forces. It's notable that in almost seven years, this is the first Muslim rally to be held without permission from the police.
The community members began their rally from outside Tipu Sultan mosque in central Kolkata on the call of Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, the general secretary of the All Bengal Minorities Youth Federation reports Times Now.
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