Bangladesh minister fired for anti-Islam remarks

 A senior Bangladeshi minister, who accompanied Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the UN, was today sacked for allegedly making anti-Islam comments that triggered widespread protests.

PTI| Updated: Oct 01, 2014, 20:16 PM IST

Dhaka: A senior Bangladeshi minister, who accompanied Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the UN, was today sacked for allegedly making anti-Islam comments that triggered widespread protests.

"Prime Minister has sacked Telecommunication Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui," spokesman of ruling Awami League Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif told a media briefing.

"Awami League never supports any such comments (made by Siddiqui) and that is why the premier has immediately relieved him from her cabinet," he said.

His removal came hours after a Dhaka court ordered Siddique's personal appearance by October 28 and another court summoned him for October 30 to face charges of "hurting Muslims religious sentiment".

Court officials said six separate cases were filed against Siddique for his comments on haj at a rally of Bangladeshis in New York two days ago.

His comments have triggered widespread protests in the country.

Islamist groups, including the ultra right Hefazat-e-Islam, declared Siddiqui an apostate and set a 24-hour deadline for his removal while embarrassed leaders of the ruling Awami League immediately castigated Siddiqui.