Union minister of state for forest and environment Babul Supriyo in a Twitterwar with noted writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar sparked off a controversy by branding the former as “communal” prompting intellectuals to come out in protest against his comments.

Akhtar had taken a jibe at the conduct of Delhi police who had sealed the house of Tahir Hossain, an AAP leader, in connection with his alleged role in the instigation of the Delhi riots, while letting four BJP leaders accused of making inflammatory speeches go scot-free despite a Delhi High Court’s ruling.

“So many killed, so many injured, so many house burned, so many shops looted, so many people turned destitute but police has sealed only one house and looking for the owner. Incidentally his name is Tahir. Hats off to the consistency of the Delhi police,” he wrote on Twitter.

In response, Supriyo tweeted, “Your comments in the face of tragic Delhi incidents had unmasked your communal face. It is good that it helped me in coming to terms to your real identity.” Actor Koushik Sen termed Mr Supriyo’s comments as “Fascism at its best” while theatre personality Rudra Pratap Sengupta said he should have avoided hurling abuse and rather engaged in a debate.