INDIA: After Friday congregational prayers, protests and sloganeering took place across the country, including in Delhi, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, the capital of Jharkhand, Ranchi, and elsewhere, in response to inflammatory speeches made by now-removed BJP functionaries against Prophet Mohammad.
The Jama Masjid in Delhi was the scene of a big peaceful protest and sloganeering demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
The Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam stated that the mosque leadership had not issued a protest call. The first demonstration lasted around half an hour, after which the demonstrators dispersed. They reassembled afterwards.
Protests across India
The same issue sparked protests in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, Prayagraj, Deoband, Firozabad, and Moradabad.
After Friday prayers in the Nawabganj area, residents in Saharanpur organised a protest and attempted to march towards the Ghantaghar.
To disperse the protesters, police used baton charges. The situation was tense, but it was now under control.
An agitation in Ranchi calling for Sharma’s arrest resulted in stone pelting, after which police baton-charged the demonstrators. Vehicles were set on fire and vandalized, and stone-pelting took place, resulting in.
After Friday prayers, the incident occurred near Daily Market, where shopkeepers had declared a day-long bandh over the problem.
Violent fights erupted in Kanpur a week ago when two groups opposed Sharma’s controversial remarks during a television debate.
The words have also sparked international outrage. The BJP has suspended Sharma and expelled Naveen Jindal, the party’s Delhi media chief, following their remarks on the Prophet.
Due to the lack of permission for the protest at Jama Masjid, the Delhi Police announced legal action would be taken against the demonstrators.
“Nearly 1,500 people had assembled in Jama Masjid for Friday prayers,” said Central District DCP Shweta Chauhan.
After the prayers, about 300 people came out to protest Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal’s aggressive remarks.
As stone-pelting broke out in numerous towns across the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath advised police to take harsh action against troublemakers. From police headquarters, senior officers were keeping an eye on the situation.
Protests erupted in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, Batamaloo, and Tengpora neighbourhoods. Following a protest call by the Ludhiana Jama Masjid, protests were staged across Punjab seeking the arrest of the suspended BJP officials, according to Shahi Imam of Ludhiana.
Women staged a protest march in Navi Mumbai in response to the contentious statements, while a massive crowd marched in Solapur.