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Mamata confers Banga Bhushan Award to Imam Rashidi who lost his son in Asansol riots

Kolkata: Maulana Imam Imdadul Rashidi didn’t reach to receive ‘Banga Bhushan’ Award presented by West Bengal government. Maulana said he could not travel to Kolkata as it is the Holy month of Ramadan. Maulana said Ramadan is the month of ibadah hence he cannot involve in any other activity except ibadah.

It must be noted that Maulana Imdadullah Rashidi lost his young son in Asansol riots which began in the industrial town and other areas in the state after the Ram Navami celebrations. Imam Maulana Rashidi’s son Sibghatullah Rashidi had appeared in 10th class board exam. He went missing on the day when riots occurred. It was found that the rioters had kidnapped him. Later his body was recovered.

The incident created tension in the Muslim localities of Asansol. Had not the imam Rashidi appealed for peace and restraint, the tension could have triggered large-scale violence. Making an impassionate plea to the people gathered at the Eidgah Maidan where his son was buried, Rashidi had told the crowd, “my son has died, but I don’t want anyone else to lose his child. If you strike back, I shall leave this town.” The next day he repeated his request saying, “I only want peace to return here.”

Impressed by the peace-loving attitude and courage of Imdadullah the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee decided to confer Banga Bhushan Award on him.

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