Anti-Islam video sparks protests in Kolkata, American Center closes
Hundreds of Muslims on Thursday held protests against an anti-Islam video and tried to march to the American Center in Kolkata, which closed down for the second half of the day.
The protestors, belonging to Muslim organisations, including the All-Bengal Minorities Youth Federation, demanding an apology from the US, broke barricades and tried to approach the highly-fortified American Centre on Chowringee in central Kolkata, but were stopped some distance away, police sources said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Javed Shamim, told reporters that a 1000-1500 strong force was deployed in the area and was successful in preventing the protestors from reaching the American consulate office.
Police sources said an estimated 20,000-25,000 people from the minority community gathered in between Esplanade and Chowringhee to protest against video which was available on the internet.
There was no violence during the protest, Shamim said. Apprehending that the situation might turn violent the American Centre closed down in the second half of day, officials said.
The protest grid-locked traffic bumper-to-bumper on Chowringhee and C R avenue in central Kolkata and had a ripple effect elsewhere, including the south and the north in the metropolis.
The video has sparked anti-US protests across the Muslim world, including in countries like Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Sudan and Afghanistan.