Protests across Hyderabad, country over remarks made against Prophet

Nationwide, a few policemen were injured in stone pelting and security forces were forced to resort to lath-charge

Hyderabad: Tension prevailed at several places in the city as well in many places across the nation as Muslims resorted to protests after Friday prayers demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and her former party colleague Naveen Jindal for alleged derogatory statements against Prophet Mohammed.

In Hyderabad, the police had made elaborate security arrangements at various places including Charminar. Similar protests were held at Kalapather, Mehdipatnam, Chandrayangutta, Shaheennagar, Saidabad and other places. Mehdipatnam also witnessed a traffic jam due to the protest carried out by the Moosarambagh Unique Youth Organisation.

Nationwide, a few policemen were injured in stone pelting and security forces were forced to resort to lath-charge, tear gas shelling and firing in the air.

Authorities in Jammu clamped curfew in a few areas and parts of the Kashmir Valley observed a shutdown while prohibitory orders were imposed in parts of Ranchi after police opened fire in the air to disperse protesters. Most of the protests including at the historic Jama Masjid in Delhi broke out after the Friday prayers and several arrests were also made by the police.

Hundreds of protesters massed outside Jama Masjid in Delhi and some of them gathered on the steps of the mosque. However, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, distanced himself from the protests saying “nobody knows who the protesters were” and demanded action against such people.

Senior police officials said the protests were held peacefully and lasted for 15 to 20 minutes.

In Uttar Pradesh, stones were pelted at policemen in Prayagraj and Saharanpur during the protests which were also witnessed in Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur and Lucknow. In Prayagraj, some motorcycles and carts were set on fire and an attempt made to set ablaze a police vehicle, a police official said.

Police used tear gas and lathis to disperse mobs and peace was later restored, the official said, adding that one policeman was hurt in Prayagraj. In Saharanpur, protesters demanded death sentence for Nupur Sharma.

In the city, a group of youngsters, after attending prayers at Macca Masjid, took out a rally till the Moghalpura fire station. Sources said that the protests were reported from 1.45 pm to 3 pm. Protestors gathered at Azizia Masjid at Mehdipatnam junction, Macca Masjid in Charminar, and at Malakpet, shouting slogans and demanding the arrest of Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal.

"Heavy traffic jam was reported as about 200 people held placards and protested on the road. Police teams were deployed to prevent any untoward incidents and additional support from the CRPF forces and traffic officials was called for. Police had diverted them to peacefully carry their protest by obstructing the traffic," sources said.

Additional commissioner of Hyderabad polcie D.S. Chauhan, said that protests were held peacefully. "Police have handled it well. No untoward incident took place. People have protested and left the place and no case has been registered," he said.

Some activists of Islamic groups at Mahbubnagar protesting against the remarks of former BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal reportedy defaced the Tricolour, replacing the Ashok Chakra at the centre of the flat with the Kalma.

Even as the police sterngthened security, hundreds of devotees holding placards staged a protest after offering prayers at the Masjid-e-Rahmat mosque in Mahbubnagar.

Later, representatives submitted a memorandum to the district collector seeking legal action against Nupur Sharma for humiliating a section of people by making objectionable remarks during a TV show.

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