A day after Samajwadi Party leader Kamaal Farooqui kicked up a row over the arrest of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, his party today distanced itself from the remarks saying they reflected his personal views.
"Farooqui's statement is not that of the party's. It could be his personal views," senior SP leader Ramgopal Yadav told reporters here.
"Bhatkal is a terrorist and he should be treated as one," Yadav, who was here to distribute laptops among students, said.
Responding to the arrest of the 30-year-old accused, who is wanted in several blast cases, Farooqui had yesterday said, "Is this arrest based on crime or religion?"
"If he is a terrorist, then he should not be spared but if he has been arrested just because he is a Muslim, then caution should be exercised as we don't want to send a wrong message to the entire community that we are trying to malign the it's image without a thorough investigation," he had said.
BJP asked Samajwadi Party to expel its leader Kamaal Farooqi for his controversial remarks
Alleging that the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh had crossed all limits in pursuit of its policy to appease minorities, BJP asked it to issue a rejection of Farooqi's statement, failing which it would take it that the party agreed with the leader's views.
"SP should either immediately expel Farooqi or deny his statement, else it would be accepted that the party supports Farooqi on the issue of Bhatkal's arrest," state BJP spokesman, Dr Manoj Misra, said in a statement today.