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Protests Erupt Across States Against Controversial Prophet Remark by BJP’s Nupur Sharma

PTI |
Cities in UP, Maharashtra, J&K, Jharkhand and even Delhi saw massive protests after Friday prayers. Lathi-charge was reported in some places.
jama masjid

Lucknow: Protests broke out at several places in Uttar Pradesh after the Friday prayers over now-suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Nupur Sharma's controversial remark on Prophet Mohammad recently.

A senior official at the Uttar Pradesh Police headquarters in Lucknow said sloganeering took place in Saharanpur, Moradabad, Rampur and Lucknow.

People raised slogans and pelted stones in the Atala area of Prayagraj after the Friday prayers ended, the police alleged.

Additional Director General (Law and Order) Parashant Kumar said, "The reports of stone-pelting in Prayagraj are being looked into." He said Friday prayers were held peacefully in most places across the state.

This comes following clashes last week in Kanpur over the remarks on the Prophet at a TV debate some days earlier. A high alert was issued across the state after that, and a heavy police force was deployed to ensure that violence does not occur again.

Maharashtra: Women March in Large Numbers

Mumbai:  Members of the Muslim community staged protests in several cities of Maharashtra on Friday demanding action against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and her former party colleague Naveen Jindal for their alleged objectionable remarks against Prophet Mohammad.

No untoward incident was reported from anywhere during the protests, police said.

The protests were staged by various organisations following the Friday prayers after 3 pm, a police official said.

In Panvel city in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, at least 3,000 protesters including around 1,000 women took out a protest march.

A delegation submitted a memorandum to Panvel tehsildar and the protest was over peacefully by 4 pm, said a local police official.

A protest was also held at Shivaji Chowk in Vashi, where a delegation submitted their demands to the Vashi Police Station, he said.

Similar protest gatherings or marches were also held in Thane, Aurangabad, Solapur, Nandurbar, Parbhani, Beed, Latur, Bhandara, Chandrapur and Pune districts.

Delhi: Hundreds Demand Sharma’s Arrest

New Delhi: Protests erupted outside the Jama Masjid here after Friday prayers with hundreds of people demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad, police said.

A large crowd of people gathered on the steps of the famous mosque, carrying placards and shouting slogans against Sharma and Naveen Jindal, former head of the Delhi BJP's media unit. There was heavy security deployment to manage the situation and avoid any untoward incident.

According to senior police officials, the protest was held peacefully on the stairs near gate number one of the mosque, and it lasted for around 15 to 20 minutes. The protesters were dispersed from the area later.

"The protest was held near the gate number one of Jama Masjid. We demanded the arrested of Nupur Sharma for her remark on Prophet Mohammad. It was a peaceful protest, and people left the area after a while," said Akram Qureshi, a resident of the area.

"Nupur Sharma should be arrested. I will keep protesting until she is put behind the bars. How dare she disrespect our religion," questioned 57-year-old Baba Mastan, who was part of the protest.

Jharkhand: Lathi-Charge in Ranchi

Ranchi: Some policemen were injured while trying to control an “irate mob” near Hanuman Temple, situated on Ranchi's Main Road, after protests erupted with hundreds of people demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, police said.

Police said it fired in air and resorted to lathi-charge to control the mob which spilled out on the road after Friday prayers and pelted stones and shouted slogans.

"Few policemen have been injured. We are looking into the situation. We are reinforcing deployment," a senior police official told PTI.

A large crowd of people gathered on Main Road shouting slogans against Sharma and Naveen Jindal, former head of the Delhi BJP's media unit.

Heavy security deployment has been made to manage the situation and avoid any untoward incident.

"More than 1,100 shops in the market were shut since morning in protest against remarks of Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal. We demand their immediate arrest," New Daily Market Traders Welfare Association President Haji Md Hasim told PTI.

Hasim said they wanted a peaceful procession but police didn't give permission. "So we are protesting peacefully outside our shops here," he said.

Srinagar: JRC Protests in Several Areas

Srinagar: JRC Protests were held at Lal Chowk, Batamaloo, Tengpora and other places in the city.

Holding placards, men, as well as women, staged protests after the Friday congregational prayers, officials said.

 They said the protests were peaceful with no untoward incident being reported from anywhere.

 Authorities have snapped internet on mobile phones in Srinagar as a precautionary measure to prevent rumour-mongering.

 The Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, while condemning the repeated closure of the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar for Friday prayers by the authorities, alleged that anti-Kashmir and anti-Muslim measures are a hallmark of the central rule.

“Deliberately hurting the sentiments of Muslims across the world including in J-K to appease their constituency across India, these people by using derogatory language against Islam and the holy Prophet (PBUH) pronounce their hatred for both and wear it like a badge on their sleeve," the Hurriyat said in a statement.

"Hurriyat strongly believes in respect and reverence for all religions and religious figures, a fact borne out by peaceful coexistence of people of this land for centuries," it added.

Gujarat: ‘Charge Sharma Under UAPA’

Ahmedabad: Demanding immediate arrest of suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma over her alleged objectionable remarks about Prophet Mohammad, members of the Muslim community held protests in some areas of Gujarat's Ahmedabad and Vadodara cities on Friday.

Shops and markets in Muslim-dominated Dariyapur and Karanj areas here remained shut as part of the protest. In Dariyapur, several Muslim men and teenagers gathered on the main road with placards proclaiming love for Prophet Mohammad and demanding the arrest of Sharma.

They said Sharma, and others who make such statements, must be charged under provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Former councillor Hasan Khan Pathan said Sharma's remarks had hurt Muslims across the world but the government was yet to take any action against her.

"There was no bandh call from any Muslim outfit today, but people voluntarily shut their shops out of anger, and many have come out on the streets to protest," Pathan told reporters.

Police officials said shops in most parts of the old city remained open and the day went off normally in other Muslim-dominated areas, such as Kalupur.

In Gorwa area of Vadodara city,  protesters gathered near a road and shouted slogans against Sharma.

 

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