Muslim Protests Rock India After BJP Spokesperson's Comments on Prophet Mohammad - Video
On 26 May, a BJP spokeswoman made a controversial remark about the Prophet Mohammad during a Times Now television channel debate. The party suspended the official on 6 June for violating the BJP's constitution. The action came in the wake of a spurt in public and political outrage in India and among Islamic nations.
India has witnessed a wave of protests after former BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma caused outrage by her remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, that were widely regarded as "Islamophobic" by Muslims around the world.
As Muslims congregated for Friday's mid-day prayer - Jummah Namaz - they staged protests in different parts of Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh states, and in cities such as Kolkata (West Bengal), Hyderabad (Telangana) and Ranchi (Jharkhand) among other places.
These weekly prayers
are generally performed at mosques or open spaces usually marked for prayers by the local authorities.
In Delhi, hundreds of people gathered outside the city's biggest mosque Jama Masjid after Friday prayer and briefly protested, demanding that the BJP's suspended spokeswoman Nupur Sharma be arrested.
According to a senior police officer Shweta Chauhan, there were about 1,500 people.
The head cleric of the mosque told Indian news agency ANI that they did not know who organised the protest.
"We made it clear that if they want to protest
, they can. But we will not support them," he said.
Jammu and Kashmir
The Srinagar District of Jammu and Kashmir was shut on Friday.
A curfew has been imposed in several areas of the Jammu district after some individuals during a gathering at a local mosque called for those who insult the Prophet Mohammad to be beheaded.
In Kolkata, Muslims protested on Thursday as well as on Friday. The demonstrators also blocked the city road.
Members of the Muslim community protested in the Siwan District of Bihar after conducting their Friday prayer.
In Uttar Pradesh's cities of Moradabad, Saharanpur and Kanpur, Muslims gathered to demonstrate. In Moradabad, police baton-charged demonstrators in a bid to disperse the crowd and prevent any untoward action from taking place.
As of now, the suspended BJP spokeswoman's remark has been condemned by more than a dozen Muslim countries. India's federal government
has clarified that "fringe elements made the remarks", and the comment did not reflect the view of the government.