Protests against a controversial anti-Islam film made in the U.S. rocked several parts of Kashmir on Friday but there was no violence reported from anywhere in the Valley. However, the authorities placed top separatist leaders under preventive detention to maintain law and order.
Soon after Friday prayers, demonstrations were held outside many mosques and shrines in the Valley against the blasphemous video, uploaded on social networking site YouTube recently, officials said.
Raising slogans against the film-maker, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Maisuma, Budshah Chowk, Court Road, Lal Chowk and Jamia Masjid areas, police said.
Meanwhile, the Imams (priests) during sermons in the mosques appealed to the people not to vandalise public property while staging protests against the blasphemy.
“It is our right to protest against this heinous act aimed at hurting the sentiments of the Muslims. However, we should not indulge in vandalism as we will be causing harm to our own property. We shall remain peaceful,” said a priest at a mosque in Lal Chowk area.
Heeding the advice of the Imams, the protesters dispersed peacefully.
Barring a minor stone-throwing incident at Red Cross Road near Lal Chowk, the situation across the Valley was peaceful, the police said.
Earlier in the day, the police put the leaders of the separatist groups including chairmen of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, in preventive detention.
Cutting across the ideological divide, all political parties have condemned the video.
The ruling National Conference said people who indulge in such acts represent a radical mind-set hell bent on vitiating the peaceful atmosphere across the world.
CPI(M) State secretary M.Y. Tarigami condemned the video saying such incidents push humanity to the brink of a clash between civilisations.
“There has been enough bloodshed around the world and we need efforts to promote peace and amity. Such things will not help in this direction,” he said.