Protests held across Asia over remarks on Prophet

Around 20 countries have called in their Indian ambassadors



AP
AP

By AFP, Reuters

Published: Sat 11 Jun 2022, 7:29 AM

Last updated: Sat 11 Jun 2022, 10:34 PM

Muslims took to the streets in huge protests around Asia after Friday prayers, sparked by remarks about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by two former members of the Indian ruling party.

Around 20 countries have since called in their Indian ambassadors.

Friday saw the biggest street rallies yet in response to the furore, with police estimating more than 100,000 people mobilised across Bangladesh after Friday prayers.

In India, police confronted stone-throwing crowds in at least two cities as crowds protested in many areas of the country over the remarks. Spokeswoman Nupur Sharma has been suspended and the other official has been expelled by the party.

A total of 109 people have been arrested from different districts of Uttar Pradesh by the police for their alleged role in the protests on Friday, said Prashant Kumar, a senior Uttar Pradesh police official.

In Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi, protesters hurled stones at police and injured some officers, senior police official Anis Gupta told Reuters by phone, adding the situation was now under control.

Protests in other cities and towns remained peaceful.

In Kashmir, small groups gathered in dozens of locations, some of them raising slogans against the fired BJP officials.

Authorities cut off mobile Internet connections to forestall any violence, a police official in Jammu and Kashmir said.

In Ahmedabad, Gujarat, protesters including children marched holding posters of the two BJP officials and calling for police to arrest Sharma.

She was not available for comment. Sharma said last week that she did not intend to hurt anyone’s religious feelings.

Police in New Delhi said on Thursday said they have filed a complaint against Sharma and others for “inciting people on divisive lines” on social media.

The BJP has instructed officials to be “extremely cautious” when talking about religion on public platforms and has said it does not promote insults against any sect or religion.

In Pakistan, around 5,000 supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan gathered to protest in Lahore. And in Indonesia, about 50 protesters staged a rally in front of the Indian embassy in Jakarta.

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