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Qureshi firm on demand for cartoonist's head

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Kanpur, Feb 26 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh Minister of Minority Welfare and Haj matters Haji Yakub Qureshi, who recently caused a flutter by putting a reward of Rs 51 crore on the head of the Danish cartoonist lampooning Prophet Mohammad, today said he was firm on his stand.

Talking to mediapersons on the Kanpur central station during his brief stopover on way from Ghaziabad to Lucknow here, Mr Qureshi said, ''Even the Denmark Prime Minister could receive Rs 51 crore as an award if he orders the killing of the said cartoonist for providing his head to us.'' The funds would not be a problem as followers of Islam were ready to shed the ornaments and money towards the award, he said adding that he would even beg for the money from people.

He said that large number of women had already started handing over their ornaments. He has announced the award of Rs 51 crore for the head of the cartoonist as a true follower of Islam and not as a minister of the state government, he added.

Even if he was sacked from the Samjawadi Party party, he would not form any party but continue to fight for the noble cause.

Mr Qureshi also demanded severe punishment for famous painter M F Hussain who had painted objectional picture of Bharat Mata and a Hindu goddess.

Criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Qureshi said the party never stuck to its statement. They were raising the issue of Ram temple and posing as a religious party but realised the gravity on such issue when they were in difficulty.

Meanwhile, the Muslim community in the city took out a large procession from the minority-dominated areas and burnt of Danish cartoonist and Denmark Prime Minister in effigy at Dada Miyan and Yatimkhana crossings. Burqa clad women also participated in a silent procession.

The district administration had made elaborate security arrangements in the city especially in the Muslim-dominated areas and the procession passed off peacefully.

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