Kolkata

Prophet row | Uneasy calm prevails in violence-hit Howrah

Security personnel patrols a street after violence erupted between police and protestors over a comment on Prophet Mohammed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Nupur Sharma, in Howrah on the outskirts of Kolkata on June 11, 2022.

Security personnel patrols a street after violence erupted between police and protestors over a comment on Prophet Mohammed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Nupur Sharma, in Howrah on the outskirts of Kolkata on June 11, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Uneasy calm prevailed on June 12 in West Bengal's Howrah district, where Section 144 of CrPc has been clamped in some areas and internet services suspended following violent protests over controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad by suspended BJP spokespersons, police said.

The situation in Murshidabad's Beldanga, Rejinagar and Shaktipur police station areas, where internet services have been suspended following violent protests over the row, is also peaceful.

More than 100 people have been arrested in the two districts for their alleged involvement in the violent incidents.

Police conducted route marches in several areas of Howrah district including Uluberia, Panchla, Jagatballavpur and Dhulagarh on Saturday night as large contingents of security forces were deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

"The overall situation is peaceful at present as there have been no reports of any fresh incident in Howrah and Murshidabad districts. A total of 100 people have been arrested so far. Our force is on alert and any attempt to create disturbance will be dealt with strongly," a senior police officer told PTI over the phone.

Shops and markets were open and people were coming out of their houses by adhering to the prohibitory orders, while regular vehicular movement was reported on National Highway 16 and other roads in Howrah district, he said, adding that train services were normal.

Protests erupted in several parts of Howrah on Friday over remarks by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled leader Naveen Jindal on Prophet Muhammad forcing the administration to impose prohibitory orders in some areas till June 15 and suspending internet services in the entire district till June 13.

On Saturday, incidents of stone-pelting, setting police vehicles on fire and damaging public properties were reported in Howrah's Panchla.

In Murshidabad's Beldanga, a riot-like situation was witnessed as protesters attacked a police station and vandalised several houses after a college student put up a social media post supporting Ms. Sharma's views, following which she was arrested and internet services were suspended in the area.

In Kolkata, security was tightened in areas "considered sensitive" such as Park Circus, Kidderpore, Rajabazar and Mallickbazar over the controversy.

An FIR has been lodged at Kanthi Police Station against Ms. Sharma, an officer said.

Police have also sent a letter to Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari asking him not to visit parts of Howrah district due to imposition of prohibitory orders, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 12, 2022 2:25:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/prophet-row-uneasy-calm-prevails-in-violence-hit-howrah/article65520060.ece