Gandhinagar : Imam Mehdi Hasan, whose comment on the Navratri festival has created a furor in Gujarat was on Wednesday slapped to the grounf by a VHP loyalist.
The incident comes on a day when when Gujarat minister of state for Home Rajnikant Patel stated that there was no question of banning entry of muslims at any garba venue.
Hasan was on his way to be produced in the Thasra court campus in Kheda district. The imam was arrested from his home in Rustampura area in Thasra taluka on Tuesday for his controversial remark.
The cleric had shot into global headlines on in 2011 when he had offered a Muslim skullcap to the then chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi but the latter had refused to wear it.
Hasan was quoted in a newsreport as stating on Sunday that
garba had no longer remained a religious festival but one that was a source of entertainment for “demons.” According to him the festival has been totally commercialized where youth danced to Bollywood tunes and many would come drunk.
He was condemned for the remark and VHP had organised a press conference the same day to demand his arrest. The cleric was arrested by Kheda Police for insulting religious sentiments, after Hindu groups filed a complaint against him. He could be jailed for three years.
R K MISRA