MEERUT: The Meerut Municipal Corporation has prohibited its Muslim members from attending a meeting after they refused to sing ‘Vande Mataram’.
All seven corporators from the minority community left the session soon after rest of the members started singing Vande Mataram.
There is also a proposal by Mayor Harikant Ahluwalia to terminate the membership of those councillors who did not sing the national song and instead walk out of the meeting. The resolution was proposed after some councillors belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Opposition clashed over the national song.
The meeting had earlier on Tuesday started with Ahluwalia asking all members to stand up and sing the national song.
It was then that some members belonging to opposition walked out after which the BJP councillors started raising slogans, “Hindustan me rehna hai to Vande Mataram kehna hoga”.
“The mayor ordered us to sing Vande Mataram and threatened that he will not let us sit in the Sadan (House) if we do not follow his directive. It is up to us whether we will sing it or not. The orders were delivered rudely, so we decided to boycott the proceedings,” said Afzal Saifi, one of the corporators to The Indian Express.
Noteworthy, the corporators returned to the meeting after a while, but Ahluwalia refused to let them in.
“The seven Muslim councillors of the House had walked out on Tuesday when other members started singing the national song. They returned after some time, but I refused to let them in,” Ahluwalia said.
“We will not allow members, who are against the singing of Vande Mataram, to sit in the House, when it assembles next. We will even go to jail, if required, over it,” he said.
We respect Vande Mataram,but BJP corporators and mayor were literally forcing us to sing. SC says its not mandatory: Afzal, SP Corporator pic.twitter.com/bkMXQPvc4N
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 30, 2017
Meanwhile, Muslim cleric Mufti Mukarram demanded a strict action against the mayor.
“I strongly condemn it. They can’t force us to sing Vande Mataram. Mayor shouldn’t act like this. There should be proper action against him,” Mukarram told ANI.
Reacting to this, councillor Shaahid Abbasi said, “We are being looked at with suspicion even when we ready to lay down our lives for our country.”
Councillors Diwanji Sharif and Arshad Ulla said, “Our religion… the Sharia law does not accept Vande Mataram. We are ready to tender resignation but would not sing it.”
Terming the mayor’s proposal to terminate their membership as a “Tughlaqi diktat”, they said they would move court against it.
With ANI/PTI inputs