Patna: Indian police shot dead two protesters and arrested more than 130 at a street rally triggered by ruling party officials’ remarks about the ruling Muhammad (PBUH), officials told AFP on Saturday. There has been widespread protest in the Islamic world since last week when a spokeswoman for Narendra Modi’s party commented on a television debate.
In India and neighboring countries, Muslims went out on the streets in large numbers after Friday prayer to blame their remarks, and police fired at a crowd in the city of Rancho in eastern India. “Police were forced to fire to disperse the protesters … two people died as a result,” a Ranchi police officer told AFP.
Officers said the crowd threw broken bottles and stones against their order not to march from the mosque to the market when police tried to disperse the rally with batons. Authorities disconnected the city’s internet connection and imposed a curfew. Locals Shabnam Ara told AFP that the atmosphere on Saturday remained tense. “We pray for peace and harmony,” she said.
Police in Uttar Pradesh fired tear gas to disperse at least one rally after several demonstrations across the northern Indian state. Most protests ended peacefully, but demonstrators in some cities threw stones at police and injured at least one police officer, said Avanish Awasthi, a senior state government official. “We will take strict action against stone pelling and those who indulge in violence,” Awasty told reporters. “People who work behind the scenes and incite violence cannot escape at all.”
Prashant Kumar, a senior state police officer, told AFP that up to “136 protesting villains” had been arrested from six districts around Uttar Pradesh. In cities around India, considerable demonstrations took place on Friday, with some crowds burning portraits of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a spokeswoman for the Bharatiya Janata Party. Authorities also shut down internet services on weekends in several districts near the big cities east of Kolkata after protesters blocked the railroad and struck police stations.
Sharma’s remarks have engulfed India in a diplomatic storm, with governments from nearly 20 countries seeking clarification from India’s envoys. Since taking office nationwide in 2014, the Modi administration and the BJP have been accused of supporting discriminatory policies against Islamic believers. His government has proposed a controversial law that grants citizenship to Indian refugees but does not allow them if they are Muslims. Meanwhile, the state’s BJP government has passed a law that makes it difficult for Muslims to marry outside of religion.
The Githabul Ministry last week called U.S. officials about what India called “lack of information” and “prejudice” comments during the release of a religious freedom report accusing Indian authorities of supporting attacks on minority worshipers. Blame. Sharma’s comments sent the BJP to her damage control, her party suspended her from that position, and issued a statement that she respected all religions.
On Friday, in response to this statement, we saw the largest South Asian street rally ever. Police estimate that more than 100,000 people have been mobilized across Bangladesh after the noon prayer. An additional 5,000 people went to the streets of the Pakistani city of Lahore at the behest of radical religious groups, demanding that their government take stronger action against India in response to comments.
This line continues to anger throughout the Islamic world in 2020 after French President Emmanuel Macron defended the right of a satirical magazine to publish a portrait of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). French teacher Samuel Paty was decapitated by Chechen refugees in October 2020 after showing a cartoon to his class in a free speech lesson. Images of the Prophet (PBUH) are strictly forbidden in Islam. – AFP