Howrah: The West Bengal government has suspended internet services in Howrah after protests over remarks on Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) by BJP’s key spokesperson Nupur Sharma turned violent.
The internet services have been suspended till Monday, June 13. Internet ban has been imposed in the area under the jurisdiction of Howrah Police Commission (urban area) and Howrah Police (Rural).
Violent protests were witnessed across India today after the culmination of Friday prayers against the derogatory remarks made by two key BJP members against the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and Islam.
In Ranchi, a city in Jharkhand state, some policemen were injured during protests near Hanuman Temple, situated on Ranchi’s Main Road after protests erupted with hundreds of people demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.
Police fired in the air besides resorted to lathi-charge to control the mob which spilled out on the road after Friday prayers and pelted stones and shouted slogans, PTI reported.
“Few policemen have been injured. We are looking into the situation. We are reinforcing deployment,” a senior police official told the news agency.
A large crowd of people gathered on Main Road shouting slogans against Sharma and Naveen Jindal, former head of the Delhi BJP’s media unit.
Heavy forces deployment has been made to manage the situation and avoid any untoward incidents.
According to police officials, the protest has been continuing since morning and picked up tempo post-Friday prayers. Many shops and establishments kept their shutters down in protest against the remarks.
“More than 1,100 shops in the market were shut since morning in protest against remarks of Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal. We demand their immediate arrest,” New Daily Market Traders Welfare Association President Haji Md Hasim told PTI.
Hasim said they wanted a peaceful procession but the police didn’t give permission. “So we are protesting peacefully outside our shops here,” he said.
On Sunday protests from countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Iran, prompted the BJP to take action against its functionaries and assert that it respects all religions. BJP suspended Nupur Sharma and expelled Jindal.
Similar protests were witnessed in Uttar Pradesh. On report quoted a senior official at the Uttar Pradesh Police headquarters in Lucknow saying that sloganeering took place in Saharanpur, Moradabad, Rampur and Lucknow.
People raised slogans and pelted stones in the Atala area of Prayagraj after the Friday prayers ended.
A heavy police force was deployed in the area to ensure law and order. Senior police and administrative officials have also reached the spot.
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Parashant Kumar said, “the reports of stone-pelting in Prayagraj are being looked into.” He said Friday prayers were held peacefully in most places across the state.
This comes following clashes last week in Kanpur over the remarks on the Prophet at a TV debate some days earlier. A high alert was issued across the state after that, and a heavy police force was deployed to ensure that violence does not occur again.