In the wake of reports of a U.S. pastor threatening to burn copies of the holy Koran to mark the 9/11 terror attacks, India on Thursday condemned the move, saying the act “is calculated to increase strife between different religious groups.”

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, while deploring Pastor Terry Jones' move to burn Koran copies on September 11, appealed to media to help maintain communal peace and harmony by exercising great restraint over the next couple of days.

‘Take strong action'

In a statement, Mr. Chidambaram said: “We condemn the action of the pastor. It is totally unbecoming of anyone who claims to be a man of religion.

“We hope that the U.S. authorities will take strong action to prevent such an outrage being committed.”

“While we await the action of the U.S. authorities, we would appeal to the media in India — both print and visual media — to refrain from telecasting visuals or publishing photographs of the deplorable act,” Mr. Chidambaram said. .

The move was aimed at increasing “bitterness and strife” between religious groups.

“No one, who is interested in maintaining harmony and peace among different sections of the people, can condone such action,” he added.

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