Prophet row: Protests, arrests in multiple states; internet services suspended
June 12, 2022, 10:17 a.m.
3 minute read
Fresh violence erupted in Howrah, West Bengal, on Saturday over controversial remarks about the Prophet Muhammad made by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
Previously, two people were killed in Ranchi by police gunfire during protests after Friday prayers.
Uttar Pradesh also witnessed clashes with more than 250 people arrested as internet services were suspended in several places.
Why is this story important?
- It comes days after Sharma’s controversial comments received widespread criticism on social media and in Arab countries.
- Multiple complaints have been filed against Sharma following his statements in Maharashtra and Telangana.
- Sharma later apologized and said she never meant to offend anyone’s religious beliefs.
- However, the issue sparked protests and violence in several cities on Friday.
60 people arrested after violence in Howrah
As many as 60 people were arrested in Howrah district on Saturday and the internet was suspended until Monday and Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed on Uluberia, Domjur and Panchla until Wednesday.
Further violence was reported in Howrah’s Panchla bazaar as protesters burned down several houses and also vandalized a BJP party office.
Murshidabad and South 24 Parganas have also witnessed protests.
Demonstrations in several regions of the country
Calling for the arrest of Nupur Sharma and the expelled BJP leader Naveen Kumar Jindal, rioting protests took place in several parts of the country including Delhi and Maharashtra.
A bandaged was observed in Ranchi and internet services were suspended. They were restored Saturday at midnight.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has ordered an investigation into Friday’s violence that left two people dead.
Delhi police register case related to Jama Masjid protest
After massive protests erupted on Friday, cases were recorded in Delhi, Maharashtra and other states.
A case has been registered by the Delhi Police in connection with Friday’s protest outside Jama Masjid and under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobeying an order duly issued by an official).
Deputy Police Commissioner (Central) Shweta Chauhan said a further investigation was underway.
255 arrested, 6,000 arrested in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh police arrested 255 people and detained another 6,000 in various districts.
Police said action would be taken under the National Security Act in Saharanpur and Prayagraj.
Of the 13 FIRs filed as part of Friday’s protests, three each were registered in Prayagraj and Saharanpur and one in Firozabad, Aligarh, Hathras, Moradabad, Ambedkarnagar, Kheri and Jalaun.
Cases recorded in Aurangabad, other locations
A case has been filed against 100 protesters under Section 149 of the IPC (Unlawful Assembly) and Motor Vehicles Act in Aurangabad. Other cases have also been recorded against protesters.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Police summoned Sharma to take his statement on June 25 under an FIR at Pydhonie Police Station.
Thane police also summoned her to take a statement on June 22.
YouTuber arrested in Srinagar, internet suspended in other regions
Protests were also seen in Jammu and Kashmir with parts of Jammu’s Chenab Valley under curfew.
Internet and broadband services remained suspended in Bhaderwah and Kishtwar, among others.
Meanwhile, Kashmiri YouTuber Faisal Wani has been arrested for posting a now-deleted video depicting Sharma’s beheading.
Prior to his arrest, he posted another video saying he had no intention of hurting people’s feelings or any religion.