Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq booked for comments on Taliban

He has been slapped with sedition and other charges.

Samajwadi Party MP from Sambhal Shafiqur Rahman Barq was booked on sedition charges for allegedly drawing a parallel between the struggle of freedom fighters during India’s Independence and the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, police said on Wednesday.

Dr. Barq was also charged with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings and promoting enmity between different groups.

The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Rajesh Singhal, reportedly a BJP leader, but described as a private person by the police.

SP Sambhal Chakresh Mishra said Dr. Barq’s comments were inflammatory.

On Monday, the five-time MP from Uttar Pradesh said that the Taliban wanted to run Afghanistan themselves as per their will. He further said that when India was fighting for Independence against the British rule, the entire country came together. Similarly, he said, the Taliban wanted to free their country that was captured by the U.S. and, earlier, Russia.

“Taliban is a force there…They want to run the country themselves as per their ways,” said Mr. Barq, who also described it an internal matter of Afghanistan.

Mr. Mishra said two others, Faizan Chaudhary and Mohammad Muqeem, who allegedly posted comments in support of the Taliban, were also booked in the FIR.

“They made inflammatory statements regarding the Taliban,” said the SP.

“A private person Rajesh Singhal in a written complaint said that in a media briefing Dr. Barq compared the Taliban to the freedom fighters in India and rejoiced over their victory,” he said.

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