Two dead in protests against Muhammad’s statements in India

Two people have been shot dead by police during protests against controversial statements by a spokeswoman for India’s ruling party about the Prophet Muhammad. Crowds in the eastern Indian town of Ranchi threw bottles and rocks during Friday’s rally and defied police orders, a spokesman for the police told AFP on Saturday. the police. The police were then “forced” to open fire.

Nupur Sharma, spokesperson for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP party, spoke during a televised debate about the relationship between the Prophet Muhammad and his youngest wife. His remarks were taken as an insult by many Muslims in India’s neighboring countries. The scandal has been gripping India for days and has spread widely. Nearly 20 countries called India’s diplomatic representatives after the statements.

The BJP is trying to limit the damage and has since expelled the party spokeswoman. Modi’s government and the BJP are repeatedly accused of pursuing discriminatory policies against Muslims.

Dozens of Muslims across India took to the streets after Friday prayers to protest statements made about the Prophet Muhammad. Some demonstrators burned the photo of the former party spokesperson. Police say dozens of people have been arrested during the protests in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

According to police estimates, more than 100,000 people also took to the streets in Bangladesh on Friday. In the Pakistani city of Lahore, around 5,000 people took part in a rally organized by a radical religious party.

Rosemary Rowse

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