Waseem Rizvi, the controversial Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chairman on Friday made a statement suggesting that those Muslims who oppose the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya must go to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
This comes at a time when the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the Babri Masjid/Ram Janambhoomi dispute from February 8.
"Those who are opposing the Ram Janambhoomi temple in Ayodhya and want to build the Babri Mosque there... People having such fundamentalist mentality should go to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Such Muslims do not have any place in India," said Rizvi who offered Friday prayers at the disputed site and met Acharya Satyendra Das, the chief priest of the Ram Janambhoomi.
"Those who want to spread Jehad in the name of the mosque must go and join the forces of Abu Baqar Baghdadi, the ISIS chief in Syria," said Rizvi.
“Fundamentalist Muslim clerics are trying to destroy the country. They must migrate to Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he added.
The remarks have not gone down well with the Shia clerics who have demanded that he be arrested for trying to communalise the atmosphere.
"Rizvi is a criminal involved in grabbing and illegal selling of Waqf properties," said President of Shia Ulema Council Maulana Iftekhar Hussain Inquilabi.
"He has been charge-sheeted by the CB-CID and to save himself from the claws of the law he is enacting a big drama," he said.
"During the rule of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, he was patronised by Mulayam Singh Yadav and then minister Azam Khan. Now, during the BJP government, he wants to be spared," added Inquilabi.
(With PTI inputs)