SRINAGAR — A shutdown was today observed in various districts of the Valley against the ‘blasphemous’ remarks about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) while as a precautionary measure, authorities snapped mobile internet services.
Shops, business establishments, offices and petrol pumps were shut in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley while government offices and banks witnessed thin attendance. Public transport was off the roads in the city and across the major towns in the Valley with only some private cars, cabs and auto-rickshaws plying on a few routes.
Urging the administration to step in, the people demanded that such unscrupulous elements be dealt with sternly to serve a message to other like-minded people to avoid communal hatred.
The protest demonstrations were reported from various district areas including Lal-Chowk, Habba Kadal, Sarai Bala, Batamaloo, Anantnag, Budgam, Sumbal Bandipora etc.
“Any act of dishonour against the Prophet of Islam (SAW) is unacceptable for every Muslim of the world and to raise a voice against this act is a matter of faith for every Muslim,” protestors said.
“Our prophet is our honour and pride and we can’t compromise on this,” another protestor said, adding, “We demand a strict punishment to all those involved in this act, otherwise we will hit the roads again.”
The agitated people asked the administration “to take immediate action and hang the culprits involved in the derogatory act.”
Notably, New Delhi faced a chorus of diplomatic outrage from Gulf countries as they cracked down on two of its leaders over their derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet.
While Qatar, Kuwait and Iran summoned India’s ambassadors to their countries, calls emerged on social media across several nations for a boycott of Indian products.
On Sunday, the BJP suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal over their comments while the party issued a statement, asserting that it “respects all religions” and “strongly denounces insults of any religious personality”.