New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) A major rift emerged at a Team Anna core committee meeting in suburban Noida Sunday with one member being asked to stay away from the proceedings after he was reportedly found recording discussions on his mobile phone and transmitting it outside.
Team Anna was discussing the group's future strategies, including their alliance with yoga guru Baba Ramdev when Mufti Shamoon Qasmi was reportedly found recording the proceedings.
Questioned by others about his actions, Qasmi reportedly told them that he would walk out of the meeting if they did not trust him, following which the meeting asked him to keep out of the deliberations for some time.
"You (Qasmi) are a member of the core committee, the discussion is going on and you are recording and relaying it outside. Further, you are claiming that you are doing this since you are a Muslim? It was a very unethical thing to do and using one's religion to excuse an inexcusable action is even worse," Team Anna member Shazia Ilmi told reporters to queries about what took place in the stormy meeting.
"Anna has asked Qasmi to exercise restraint, as he was very upset about the entire recording episode," Ilmi said.
Asked whether Qasmi was expelled from the meeting, another Team Anna Member Kumar Vishwas said that he was asked to leave the meeting for some time.
"When we asked him why he was doing this (recording), he left the meeting, saying he was doing so as other members did not trust him. Shanti Bhushan has requested him not to attend the meeting for some time, since he had breached the trust of the members," Vishwas told reporters.
"Its his decision to leave the movement or not. We have just asked him not to attend the meeting for some time," he added.
Ilmi also said that they found three recordings of the meeting on Qasmi's mobile phone.
"We found three recordings when we checked. He had been relaying the recordings outside. In fact, we got messages from reporters who were trying to verify the information in the recordings. Religion has no connection to this episode and it was very unethical of him," she added.
Prominent members Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, and Kiran Bedi attended the meeting, chaired by Anna Hazare.
The meet's focus was on the strategy to further pitch for a strong Lokpal law. The meet comes ahead of the parliament meeting again from Tuesday for the second half of this year's budget session after a three-week recess.
The opposition has demanded passage of the Lokpal bill in this session.
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