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In a curious turn of events in the West Bengal, controversial Islamic cleric Abbas Siddiqui was attacked by Trinamool Congress workers on 10th August. The Furfura Sharif Peerzada was gheraoed and attacked by a group of TMC workers at South 24 Pargana’s Bhangar area, where he had gone to meet one of his followers.
Video clips of the event showed TMC workers encircling the house and threatening and abusing Siddiqui, apart from trying to break into the house by slamming on the doors and windows.
On 9th August, some followers of Siddiqui were attacked by TMC workers, and some of his followers were injured in this attack. Siddiqui had gone to meet one such injured person in Canning. Peerzada Abbas Siddiqui said that the moment he reached the house, he came under attack. He alleged that his vehicle was attacked with stones and bricks by hundreds of TMC workers. Siddiqui said that after he got down from the vehicle, he was surrounded by the miscreants holding sticks and firearms. Reportedly his supporters were thrashed by TMC workers and his vehicle was also damaged.
Peerzada Abbas Siddiqui alleged that the attack was engineered by TMC MLA Saokat Molla. Siddiqui said that thousands of supporters of Saokat Molla armed with sticks, bombs, guns had attacked him. He said that the attackers threatened to kill him also. Following the attack, Siddiqui’s supporters launched a protest in South 24 Pargana, demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.
It has been speculated that Siddiqui has been targeted by TMC because the influential Muslim leader has announced that he will contest the next assembly elections in West Bengal. Siddiqui, who claims to be a “fan” of AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, had announced in March that he will contest elections in at least 45 seats. With BJP making significant inroad in the state in the last few years, any party taking away a major portion of Muslim votes can create trouble for the Mamata Banerjee led party.
After the attack, Siddiqui received support from unexpected quarters, the BJP in the state. BJP leaders have condemned the attack. State BJP leader Abhijit Das said that Siddiqui had gone to meet an injured associate, he has every right to do that. He said that the state govt has not taken against the attack. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh has also condemned the attack.
Past controversies of Abbas Siddiqui
Not too long ago, Abbas Siddiqui was forced to apologise after a video of his went viral on social media where he could be heard wishing death ipon Indians. He was heard saying, “Recently I have got the news that mosques are being set on fire, mosques are being burnt for the last two days. I think something is going to happen within a month. May Allah accept our prayers. May Allah send such a terrible virus to India that ten to twenty to fifty crore people die in India. Am I saying something wrong? It is absolutely blissful.”
The speech was made in the aftermath of the anti-Hindu Delhi Riots in February and during the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic in India. In his apology, the cleric claimed that he was ‘quoted out of context’. Subsequently, he affirmed his commitment towards secularism and elaborated on his alleged acts of ‘goodness’ and ‘philanthropy’.
Earlier, Abbas Siddiqui had threatened to block the Kolkata Airport if the Citizenship Amendment Act is not revoked.