Fifty-four Muslims have been excommunicated and their marriages nullified by a priest in Agra after they reportedly expressed the view that singing Vande Mataram was not un-Islamic.
While issuing the fatwa, Mufti Abdul Quddus Rumi declared that singing of the national song 'would lead them (Muslims) to hell.'
It was wrong for Muslims to sing Vande Mataram, he said, adding those advocating the song were deviating from the religion.
Muslims who made statements in favour of the song should offer prayers to renew their faith in Islam and remarry according to Islamic rites, he said.
Among those excommunicated were Mutwallis (heads) of the Loha Mandi and Shaheed Nagar mosques.
Of the 54 who were excommunicated, 13 asked for forgiveness.