No Let Up In Protests Against Blasphemy Video

Srinagar: For the fifth straight day Friday, hundreds of people across the Valley protested against the blasphemous remarks made by the members of a rightwing group against the Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) in Jammu’s Reasi.

Like the past four days, hundreds of angry protesters hit the streets in Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag, Baramulla and Ganderbal districts and staged demonstrations to condemn the blasphemous remarks made by members of rightwing Sentinel Bharat Raksha Manch members in Jammu’s Reasi on Sunday, reports said Friday.

Here in Srinagar, members of All Jammu and Kashmir Tehreek Sout-yk-Awliya (TSA) assembled at Press Colony and staged a peaceful protest denouncing the derogatory remarks, reports said. The protesters led by Muhammad Arfat Shafi demanded capital punishment for the culprits for hurting sentiments of the Muslims.

A group of people, mostly youth also held a protest in Fateh Kadal area of the Old City. Carrying placards and banners, the protesters condemned the blasphemous remarks and sought stringent punishment for the culprits.

Pertinently, on Sunday, police arrested Satpal Sharma, the main accused and his associate Deepak soon after the video containing derogatory remarks against Prophet of Islam (Pbuh) went viral. Rohit Sharma, a resident of Pacca Danga locality, was the third accused arrested in connection with the case related to the communally sensitive video.

Police had also filed a case under section 153A IPC (promoting enmity between different groups) and 295A IPC (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) at Pacca Danga police station.

In central Kashmir’s Ganderbal, police used batons and lobbed tear smoke shells to disperse a group of people who took out a rally against the blasphemous video.

According to witnesses, dozens of people after Friday prayers took out a rally to denounce the derogatory remarks made by the members of the fanatic Hindu group. Carrying banners and placards, the protesters were intercepted by the police.

“It is really unfortunate that force was used to disperse us without any reason, given the fact we were protesting in a peaceful way,” said a protester.

Reports of protesters were also received from several parts of Pulwama district.

According to reports, peaceful processions demanding strict punishment to the culprits were taken out in Chatapora, Rahmoo, Kakpora, Karimabad, Dangarpora, Newa, Pampore and other areas of the district.

At central Jamia Masjid Pulwama, Auqaf Committee Chairman Bashir Ahmad Shah, raised slogans in favour of Islam and Prophet (PBUH) and said Reasi like incidents won’t be tolerated and demanded strict action against culprits.

“Our protest will go on until the government punishes the culprits. They don’t deserve freedom at all and if they will be released, it will add insult to the injuries of Muslims,” he said.

Meanwhile, scores of people also held a strong protest in Handwara of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

In Kralgund, Imam Jamia Qadeem, Mufti Waseem led a protest against the blasphemous video. Addressing the protesters, he demanded that the culprits be booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

Protest also erupted In Tilagam area of neighbouring Baramulla district.

Reports of protests have also been received from Budgam, Shopian and Kulgam, districts of the Valley. (With KNT inputs)

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