Anti-Islam film: protests turns violent in Kashmir
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Anti-Islam film: protests turns violent in Kashmir

A mob set afire a government vehicle in Srinagar during angry protest marches and demonstrations against an anti-Islam film produced in US - "Innocence of Muslims" on Tuesday.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 19, 2012 00:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

A mob set afire a government vehicle in Srinagar during angry protest marches and demonstrations against an anti-Islam film produced in US - "Innocence of Muslims" on Tuesday.

A major clash took place near Lal Chowk's Sangarmaal Shopping Complex when security forces chased demonstrators, raising anti-American slogans.

The security forces fired tear smoke shells at the protesters to bring situation under control. Later, the protesters disembarked government officials from a vehicle and set it afire.

"A few miscreants set ablaze the Gypsy of Kulgam municipality," said spokesman of the police headquarters in Srinagar.

The police said some miscreants also appeared at Srinagar's Tengpora bypass area and resorted to stone pelting. "They were chased away by the police," said the spokesman.

The violent protests were witnessed on a day when a Sufi religious group, Muthida Ulema Ahle Sunnat (MUAS), headed by Moulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, had called for a shutdown against the blasphemous movie produced in the US.

Besides the traders' bodies, the bandh call was supported by senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Hurriyat chairman, and Yasin Malik, JKLF chief.

All schools, government offices and business centres remained closed in Kashmir, with most districts wearing a deserted look. According to the police, Srinagar city reported around a dozen peaceful protest marches.

Peaceful demonstrations were carried out in north and south Kashmir townships too. Violence was reported in Baramulla town, where protesters resorted to stone pelting.

Meanwhile, MUAS submitted a memorandum to the United Nation's office in Srinagar. "The blasphemous movie is highly provocative and has hurt our sentiments. You should initiate steps to completely ban the movie and also its trailers from YouTube and other Internet search engines," said the memorandum.

"The US authorities should take action against the people responsible for the production of the film," reads the memorandum.

Mahaz-e-Azadi chairman Muhammad Azam Inqilabi said, "America killed millions of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq to track down Osama Bin Laden. We won't do the same with innocent Christians of the West. We will only pursue blasphemous film director."

Inqilabi held the "anti-Islam" forces responsible for the lingering of Palestine and Kashmir dispute. "These forces made Kashmir a point of discord between India and Pakistan," he alleged.

Kashmir is witnessing spontaneous protests against the film since Friday. The government has already blocked the movie on the Internet.

Dy CM's house pelted with stones

The protesters pelted stones at Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Tara Chand's house in Lal Chowk. "I heard the noise and came out to see what was happening. Some youths were pelting stones at my residence. I asked my deputy superintendent security to ensure that none of my guards retaliate even if the protesters break the door," said Chand.

First Published: Sep 18, 2012 12:17 IST