Srinagar: Thousands of the Muslim devotees’ across Jammu and Kashmir continued their protest demonstrations on the third consecutive day against a self-styled Hindu priest for using derogatory remarks against Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
On Wednesday morning, hundreds of the protestors participated in the twin protests held in north Kashmir’s Pattan Bazar and Nihalpora Pattan.
In order to thwart the protest, soon a team of police headed by Sub-District Magistrate (SDM), stopped the protestors and assured them of taking the issue with higher authorities and stern punishment to those responsible for hurting the Muslim community.
“These fanatics from Bharat Raksha Manch including Satpal Sharma and even the cable channel operator who aired the derogatory video, should be punished without any delay,” said one of the protesting devotee
He added that culprits should be booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) so that they will not repeat the same in future.
Amid the protests, the deployment of armed forces personnel in the area was also beefed up and barricades were created to restrict the movement of the protestors to avoid any untoward incident.
On Wednesday, similar protests were witnessed in different parts of the Srinagar district demanding stringent action against the self-styled god-man.
Anguished over the comments, the protesters said that disrespect shown by a Hindu extremist, against Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has left Muslims in JK wounded. They said that culprits deserve the harshest punishment for attempting to disrupt communal brotherhood in the erstwhile state.
Reports said that devotees from different sections of the society including students, social activists and academicians appeared at Srinagar’s Press Enclave to register their protest.
Holding placards which read: “it’s better to kill us than to insult and abuse our religion,” “our prophet is our honour” and “hang the culprit,” the protesters amidst sloganeering sought a time-bound investigation in order to know the real hands behind the shameful act.
“We may tolerate anything but nothing against our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) Our prophet (ﷺ) is our pride, our life and we will not hesitate to sacrifice our lives or take lives of those who show disrespect towards our religion,” said another protestor from Srinagar.
He said that must take the tough action keeping in view the love and respect of Muslims for their Prophet (ﷺ). He also said the protests against insulting comments on the Prophet (ﷺ) would continue till the culprits are taken to task.
Besides protests, earlier a complete shutdown was also observed in many districts across JK including Doda, Kishtwar, Gool Gulabgarh, Ramban and Reasi.
In this regard, Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam has demanded detention of Bharat Raksha Manch fanatics under Public Safety Act for hurting the sentiments of a particular community.
The Mufti threatened to launch an “agitation” and further protests in case the government fails to take stringent action against the culprits. He also demanded the arrest of the one who uploaded the video on social media without caring for repercussions and consequences.
Meanwhile, police have appealed people not to share such videos. Assuring strict legal action against those who created or shared such content, a police spokesperson said the video seemed to have been “maliciously posted to create communal tension”.
“In this incident, cognizance has been taken and an investigation launched in Pacca Danga Police Station, Jammu,” the spokesperson said and appealed to people “not to fall prey to the agenda of anti-national elements”.
IGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh said that police have lodged FIR No 100 under sections 153-A and 295-A IPC in police station Pacca Danga and have arrested two persons including the one who had used the derogatory words.
“Jammu police have begun the investigation and so far have arrested two people. One of them is Satpal who had used the incendiary language, another one is Deepak. There was a third one in the video named Rohit, whom police arrested on Monday,” the IGP said.
Earlier, amid the protest across Chenab valley, On the directions of SSP Ramban Haseeb-ur- Rahman, SDPO Gool Pardeep Kumar held a meeting with religious leaders, Sarpanches and Civil Society members regarding maintenance of Communal Harmony and Law and Order in the area.
Interacting with them SDPO Gool applauded the role played by Religious leaders, Sarpanches and Civil Society members in the maintenance of Law and Order and Communal Harmony in Subdivision Gool till now.
He also brought to their knowledge that an FIR under relevant sections has been registered in PS Pacca Danga of District Jammu, against culprits for hurting the sentiments of the Muslim community and accused have been arrested. They were further informed that higher-ups including IG Jammu have assured speedy investigation into the case.
Earlier on August 15, a saffron-clad mob in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir thrashed a father-son duo, injuring both of them badly.
They were assaulted after a group of Hindu men called them to a particular spot. As soon as they reached they were grabbed and assaulted brutally.
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