- Mustafizur Rahman cocked a snook at Union Minister over a Facebook post
- Babul Supriyo replied by saying he will pack him off to his "own country"
- Student wants Babul Supriyo to apologise for targeting his Muslim name
A student from Bengal has demanded an apology from Union Minister Babul Supriyo who threatened to "pack him off to his own country" after the student made some comments on the minister's official Facebook page. Mustafizur Rahman said the BJP leader "should apologise in front of all the Indians" for targeting him because he has a Muslim name.
In a Facebook post, the 49-year-old leader on December 26 had criticised a gold medalist at the Jadavpur University who tore a copy of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act during her convocation event as a mark of protest. He had made a remark on the educational qualifications of the student - Debosmita Choudhury - in the post.
Mustafizur Rahman, a student from Bengal's Birbhum, commented on the post the next day, targeting Mr Supriyo and his colleague and BJP Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh. "Babul da, how educated are you and your mentor (state president) Dilip Ghosh who can take out gold from a cow," he said, referring to controversy involving Mr Ghosh.
The Bengal BJP chief had made a bizarre comment on cows in November as he said: "Our desi (Indian) cows have a special characteristic. There is gold mixed in their milk and that is why their milk is golden. There is a blood vessel that helps produce gold with the help of sunlight."
Responding to the student's attack, Mr Supriyo shot back and wrote a reply in Bengali: "Mustafizur Rahaman let me first pack you off to your country... then will send you the reply in a post card."
The 19-year-old said, in a video clip, said he was targeted because of his Muslim name. "I am a citizen of India. Bapul Supriyo is a Union minister... how can he make such a remark? We, the people, have elected him," he said.
"India is a secular country. People of different religions live together here... You are a Union Minister. You should apologise in front of all the Indians for making such a comment," he is heard saying in a clip.
Mr Supriyo on Friday said he would not apologise. "He (Rahman) could have told me whatever he wanted to. I had made the comment with a pinch of a salt. Those who are fools won't understand my comment. It has nothing to do with Hindus or Muslims. I don't need to apologize to fools," Mr Supriyo has been quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
A local group, Jatiya Bangla Sammelan, has said it will approach Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar against the comment.
Massive protests swept country since parliament cleared the amended Citizenship Act last month that makes religion a test for Indian citizenship for the first time. The government says it will provide citizenship to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Critics, however, say the law is against basic tenets of Constitution.