Prophet row: Two dead after clashes between protesters and police turn violent in Ranchi


At least two persons reportedly died of a bullet injury in Jharkhand’s Ranchi, where the police fired in the air to disperse a crowd pelting stones as protests erupted in several towns and cities across the country against derogatory references to the Prophet made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.

Inspector General, Operations, Jharkhand Police, AV Homkar told The Quint, "Two civilians have died in the protest, which turned violent yesterday. One jawan also suffered bullet injuries and is being treated. The first priority is to bring all things back to normalcy."

Read: Watch: Protest erupts outside Jama Masjid demanding Nupur Sharma's arrest

A curfew was imposed in the violence-hit areas of the city and the internet suspended till 6 am on Saturday.

Protests have erupted in several towns and cities across the country on Friday against derogatory references to the Prophet made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal. On June 5, the BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal after a diplomatic backlash from many Muslim-majority countries.

Must Read: The 14 nations which have condemned remarks on the Prophet

Also Read: Nupur Sharma has erred, no doubt: But why are liberals mutedly supporting Islamist challenge to her right to life?

Don't Miss: Nupur Sharma’s suspension: Why BJP’s decision is a rational one

These protests also turned violent in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj and West Bengal’s Howrah. The protests in Delhi and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra were peaceful even as a shutdown was observed in Srinagar.

On Saturday, Ranchi police chief Anshuman Kumar told NDTV that the protestors died of gunshot wounds. He said that injured persons, including the police officers, were being treated.

"Eight rioters and four policemen have been injured. They are being treated at RIMS and other hospitals. We will first identity those involved in the violence, question them and then arrest them," he told the news channel.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said that incident of violence was worrisome, reported ANI.

“Public of Jharkhand have always been very sensitive and tolerant,” Soren said. “I appeal to everyone to refrain from participating in any activities that will lead to more such crimes.”

Don't miss: Kashmir-based YouTuber uploads video of him beheading Nupur Sharma, shares apology video

Uttar Pradesh protests turn violent; 136 arrested

People pelted stones at police personnel in Prayagraj and Saharanpur and protests broke out after Friday prayers in at least four other cities in Uttar Pradesh over a non-suspended BJP leader's recent remarks on Prophet Mohammad.

Police have arrested more than 130 people from six districts of the state.

In Prayagraj, some motorcycles and carts were set on fire and an attempt was made to set ablaze a police vehicle. Police used tear gas and lathis to disperse mobs and peace was later restored, they said, adding that one policeman was hurt in the region.

"As many as 136 protesting miscreants were arrested from six districts of the state till 9.45 pm on Friday," Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said.

He said 45 protesters were arrested from Saharanpur, 37 from Prayagraj, 23 people from Ambedkar Nagar, 20 from Hathras, seven from Moradabad, and four from Firozabad district.

In Saharanpur, protesters demanded the death sentence for her.

There were also protests in Bijnor, Moradabad, Rampur and Lucknow over the controversial remarks. Sloganeering took place in Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh's Director General of Police (DGP) D S Chauhan said no life has been lost because of the proper arrangements made by the state police.

In Kanpur, which was the epicentre of communal violence last week, the Friday prayers were held in a peaceful manner with no reports of any untoward incident.

The prayers were held under a watertight security vigil by police personnel.

A heavy police force was deployed in the area with senior police and administrative officials present on the spot.

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.

Protests in Srinagar over remarks

Protests erupted at several places in Srinagar on Friday over controversial remarks made by two now-suspended BJP leaders against Prophet Mohammad with the Hurriyat Conference alleging that anti-Muslim measures have become a hallmark of the government.

Protests were held at Lal Chowk, Batamaloo, Tengpora and other places in the city.

Holding placards, men, as well as women, staged protests after the Friday congregational prayers, officials said.

They said the protests were peaceful with no untoward incident being reported from anywhere.

Authorities have snapped internet on mobile phones in Srinagar as a precautionary measure to prevent rumor-mongering.

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Prophet row: Two dead after clashes between protesters and police turn violent in Ranchi
Prophet row: Two dead after clashes between protesters and police turn violent in Ranchi
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