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50,000 Muslims stage anti-Bush protest in Delhi

The protestors gathered at the Ram Lila grounds in New Delhi for the protest organised by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 16:13 IST

Around 50,000 slogan-shouting Muslims staged a rally in New Delhi on Wednesday, against the visit of US President George W Bush, who is due to arrive in India after a short trip to Afghanistan.

The protestors gathered at the sprawling Ram Lila grounds near the main commercial area of New Delhi for the protest organised by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, a Muslim religious organisation.

Police put the number of protestors at around 50,000 but organisers claimed some 300,000 people had turned up.

A smaller protest was held at the historic 17th century Jama Masjid mosque in Old Delhi, witnesses said.

"We do not want Bush here as he is the world's biggest terrorist. He has no place in the land of (freedom hero Mahatma) Gandhi," said Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind spokesman Abdul Hameed Naumani.

The protestors shouted "Bush murdabad" (Bush die) and "Bush vaapas jao" (Bush, go back), amid demands to ban the Danish newspaper which printed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed last year.

Left-wing parties and workers' organisations are preparing for similar protests on Thursday.

First Published: Mar 01, 2006 15:33 IST