Protests continue over insulting remarks against prophet

Lucknow, June 12 (KMS): Two persons succumbed to gunshot wounds in Jharkhand capital Ranchi and fresh demonstrations were held in West Bengal’s Howrah as tension prevailed in several parts of the country a day after the protests against the derogatory remarks by BJP’s now-sacked two functionaries on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The authorities suspended the Internet and tightened security in the affected districts as they cracked down on protesters involved in violence and clashes with police personnel on Friday, with nearly 240 people arrested in Uttar Pradesh alone. Cases have also been registered in Delhi, Maharashtra and other states.

In UP’s Kanpur and Saharanpur administration demolished parts of the properties of three persons accused of participating in protests that broke out against the disparaging remarks made by two BJP leaders. While a bandh was observed in the Jharkhand capital on a call by Hindu outfits against the violence, around 2,500 police personnel were deployed and the internet was suspended in the district.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren formed a two-member committee, comprising senior IAS officer Amitabh Kaushal and Additional Director General of Police Sanjay Latkar to investigate the violence that left two persons dead and at least 24 people injured, a senior official told media.

Mohammad Mudassir Kaifi (22), who had gunshot wounds on his head, and 24-year-old Mohammad Sahil, with bullet injuries on neck, died during treatment, an official of state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences said in Ranchi. “Both were residents of Ranchi,” he said, adding that eight others are in the ICU.

Ranchi’s Deputy Inspector General Anish Gupta said a Special Investigation Team has also been set up to probe the incident. “Three FIRs have been lodged so far. Search operations are on to arrest the persons involved in the violence,” he said.

Fresh violence was reported in the Panchla Bazaar area in West Bengal’s Howrah district as protesters clashed with the police, set ablaze several houses and also vandalised a BJP party office.

Protests had erupted in several parts of Howrah district on Friday with people indulging in stone-pelting, setting police vehicles on fire and damaging public property.

Internet services have been suspended across the district till June 13 and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC imposed in several areas such as Uluberia, Domjur and Panchla till June 15.

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