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It is the festive season for Fatwas

LUCKNOW: Unusual causes have unusual effects. As a fallout of UP minister Yaqoob Qureshi's fatwa that he would pay Rs 51 crore for killing Danish cartoonist for caricaturing the Prophet, an unheard of body called the Hindu Law Board on Wednesday came up with a counter bounty.

It has offered Qureshi Rs 101 crore for slaying M F Husain, embroiled in a controversy over depictions of Saraswati and Bharat Mata and owners of an European distillery for using Durga illustrations to promote their wine.

Although no one knew about the existence of the Board until Wednesday, its president Ashok Pandey, an Allahabad High Court lawyer, claimed the body was 3,500-member strong and the decision was taken at a board meeting.

Of course, no one knows where the money will come from.

"Although gods and the Prophet are quite capable of punishing those who malign their image, the task could also be delegated to their devotees.

The minister is, therefore, very well within his right to demand the scalps of the offending cartoonists and the HPLB fully supports him," Pandey said.

But Qureshi, Pandey said in his caveat, "must not be selective and should also be prepared to avenge insult to pantheons of Hindu gods and goddesses as well."

He then announced a Rs 101 crore bounty on Qureshi and said if anyone else undertook the task, the payout would be Rs 51 crore.

Exhorting the Haji to pick up an AK-47, "the way Lord Ram wielded the bow and arrow to eliminate the evil king of Lanka," Pandey promised to make Qureshi a "true national hero, regardless of narrow confines of caste and communities."


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