Babul Supriyo, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Asansol, praised the Imam of the city who called for peace in spite of losing his teenage son in the Ram Navami violence.

Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, who is the Imam of a local mosque in the city for the past 30 years, had made a fervent appeal to people of the city not to resort to violence even as political parties blamed each other of fomenting trouble in this city located on the western edge of West Bengal.

Praising the Imam’s call for peace, Supriyo took to Twitter to express his grief and thank the Imam for taking his peace appeal.

“I salute u ImamSaab& I hope one day I wil b able 2 visit u without being judged or being accused of playing #VoteBankPolitics•There is no way anyone of us can ever relate 2 the pain u r going thru but I can surely feel rejuvenated& inspired by the mind power u hv showered•Salam, [sic]” wrote the BJP leader.

 

“My son is gone, but maintain peace if you love me. Don’t cause trouble for anyone,” Rashidi was heard telling the funeral congregation for his son on Thursday.

The Imam also told the congregation that he will leave the city if there was any retaliation over his son’s death.

The Imam’s appeal was widely praised by people who were deeply moved by his composure in the face of the terrible personal tragedy.

Tension during Ram Navami procession in the Muslim-dominated Chandmari-Railpar area of Asansol allegedly took the life of Rashidi’s 16-year-old son, who was a student of Class 10.

According to reports, the boy, Sibtulla Rashidi, went missing on Tuesday evening. His older brother alleged that the boy was dragged away by some miscreants on Ram Navami day. His body, which was found on Wednesday night, was identified on Thursday.

Supriyo, who is the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in the Modi government, was prevented from entering the strife-torn area on Thursday. An FIR against the minister was also lodged for violation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Penal Code.

Several shops and houses were vandalised and set on fire during clashes on Ram Navami in parts of the district. Around 19 people have been arrested for creating trouble.