Srinagar: People on Monday held protest demonstrations at various parts of Jammu and Kashmir against blasphemous remarks made by a self-styled godman against Prophet of Islam (PBUH) in Ramban area of Jammu division.

Reports said scores of people on Monday staged a protest demonstration in Sogam Lolab area of Kupwara.

The protests spearheaded by president Lolab Youth Organisation, Er. Mudasir Ahmad saw participation of scores of locals including children and old people from Sogam and its adjacent areas.

Urging the administration to step in, the people demanded that “such unscrupulous elements be dealt with sternly to serve a message to other such like-minded people to avoid communal hatred.”

On the ocassion people raised slogans of “Dhongi Baba Haie Haie”, “Gustaaki Na Manzoor”, “Gustaakh Ko Phaansi Do”.

A local on the occasion said that, “any act of dishonour against the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) is unacceptable to every Muslim of the world and to raise voice against this act is the matter of faith for every Muslim.”

“Our Prophet (PBUH) is our honour and pride and we can’t compromise on this”, another local said adding “We demand a strict punishment to all those involved in this act otherwise we will hit the roads again.”

The people later on dispersed from the venue peacefully.

Protest demonstrations were reported from Tral town of Pulwama district.

The agitated people asked the administration “to take immediate action and hang the culprits involved in the derogatory act.” Reports of peaceful protests were received from other parts of the valley including Batamaloo and Nowhatta. 

Protests were also held in Banihal area in Ramban district of Jammu as people demanded action against the self-styled guru and others responsible for posting a derogatory video.

Hundreds of shopkeepers and people from adjoining villages assembled in the town around 8:30 am and carried out a protest march.

All shops and other business establishments remained closed in Banihal and adjoining markets.

People observed a complete shutdown in Doda and Kishtwar districts too on Monday to protest against the incendiary words uttered by a person in a communally sensitive video that has gone viral on social media.

Sources said that there was complete shutdown in the two districts as shops and other business establishments remained closed while people stayed off the roads to register their protest against the derogatory words used by the person.

Police and paramilitary deployments were also placed at key locations to avoid any ‘law and order’ issue in Kishtwar, sources added.

“There is undeclared curfew like restrictions here,” they added.

SSP Kishtwar, Harmeet Singh said there was “no curfew in the district however there is bandh as people had called for it.”

A police official in Doda said there was bandh in the district called by the members of a particular community.

Police on Sunday had registered a case after the video went viral on social media in which a leader of Bharat Raksha Manch is seen speaking in derogatory language against the spiritual head of a religious community.

Following this, the ‘Islami Markaz Majili Shura, Kishtwar’ had written a letter to DC and SSP Kishtwar to take cognizance of the matter and arrest the accused.

Assuring strict legal action against those who created or shared such content, a police spokesperson said the video seemed to have been “maliciously posted to create communal tension”.

“In this incident, cognisance has been taken and an investigation launched in Pacca Danga Police Station, Jammu,” the spokesperson said and appealed to people “not to fall prey to the agenda of anti-national elements”.

IGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh said police have lodged FIR No. 100 under sections 153-A and 295-A IPC in police station Pacca Danga and have arrested two persons including the one who had used the derogatory words.

“Jammu police have begun the investigation and so far have arrested two people. One of them is Satpal who had used the incendiary language, another one arrested is Deepak,” the IGP said.

He appealed people not to share such videos.

In the video taken by a local news portal, the Bharat Raksha Manch leader is seen reportedly speaking against three separate incidents involving members from two different communities. (GNS inputs)

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