The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) has issued a notice to former Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board Chairman Waseem Rizvi for his statements against the Quran, asking him to tender an unconditional apology and to withdraw his comments within 21 days.
The NCM has raised concerns about Rizvi's statements in the media on his plea in the Supreme Court for removal of the 26 verses from the Quran and has called it a "well thought conspiracy to disturb communal harmony."
The notice sent by Joint Secretary, central government, Daniel E Richards, states that failing Rizvi's apology within the stipulated time, the NCM will hold a hearing under Section 9 of the NCM Act of 1992 and take appropriate legal action.
The notice comes after NCM has received several complaints about Rizvi's statements and concluded after examination, that the statements were "provocative, malicious, against the national interest and creating animosity between different sects of Muslims and against rights of religious freedom guaranteed under the Constitution of India."
The NCM further pointed out that Rizvi's statements violate Section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) relating to wanton vilification or attacks upon religion, race, place of birth, residence and language of any particular group or class or upon founders and prophets of a religion.
It also takes into account Section 295 A of the IPC pertaining to deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
The NCM has called the statement "prejudicial to national interest and with the intent to outage religious feelings by insulting a particular religion."
Rizvi had recently approached the Supreme Court with a petition seeking deletion of 26 verses of the Quran which he has claimed are of "violent nature and not part of the original Quran, but added after the death of Prophet Mohammad."
Complaints to NCM were made by one Abdul Majid Nizami, Ali Raza Zaidi, Mohd Faizan Chaudhary and Maulana Syed Nazar Abbas.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.