All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi slammed the Shiv Sena on Wednesday for the party’s call for a burqa ban in India just like Sri Lanka.
Stating that such a call is polarising and a violation of the model code of conduct, Owaisi said that wearing a burqa is a choice that is a fundamental right.
“Shiv Sena is ignorant. Supreme Court judgement on privacy clearly states that the choice (of wearing a burqa) is now a fundamental right,” said the MP from Hyderabad.
“It’s a violation of the MCC. I request Election Commission to take immediate note of it, it’s an attempt to create polarisation,” Owaisi was quoted as saying by ANI.
In the party mouthpieces “Saamana” and “Dopahar Ka Saamana”, the Shiv Sena urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take a cue from the Sri Lankan government and ban the burqa and other face veils in public places for sake of national security.
The Sri Lankan government on Sunday banned all face veils including Islamic dresses such as burqa and niqab in the wake of the Easter blasts which claimed 253 lives.
“The ban has already come in Ravana’s (Sri) Lanka, when will it be implemented in Ram’s Ayodhya? This is our question to Narendra Modi,” Shiv Sena said.
“People wearing face-masks or burqas could pose a threat to national security,” said the Shiv Sena, adding that “no Mahatma Phules or Shahu Maharajs” were born among the Muslims nor were allowed to become, which has worked to the advantage of “whimsical elements” like Shahabuddin, Azam Khan, Owaisi brothers and Abu Asim Azmi.
Praising Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena, the Shiv Sena said that such a decision would “require as much daring as a ‘surgical strike’”.
But BJP MP GVL Narsimha Roa opposed the party’s demand saying that there is no “no need for India to ban” burqa as the country is safe under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
NDA ally and Union Minister Ramdas Athawale also differed with the Sena’s demand.
“Not all women who wear burqa are terrorists. If they are terrorists, their burqa should be removed. It’s a tradition and they have the right to wear it, there shouldn’t be a ban on burqa in India,” Athawale was quoted as saying by ANI.
But controversial BJP leader Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur supported the Shiv Sena’s call. She, however, added that such a decision should be taken by the community itself.
”Some decisions like these have to be taken for national interest. We have to follow the rules during checking at the airport,” she said, adding, “They should take a decision themselves. A situation where the law is forced to impose such an order should not arise.”
Shiv Sena is an ally in the NDA government and is contesting the Lok Sabha elections 2019 in an alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra.