Prophet remarks row: Protests outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid after Friday prayers demanding Nupur Sharma’s arrest

Public outrage over Sharma’s comments intensified as protests broke in several parts of India including Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Moradabad and Kolkata, demanding Sharma’s arrest.

Protests outside Jama Masjid demanding Nupur Sharma's arrest. (ANI Twitter video screengrab)

Massive protests broke out at the Jama Masjid in Delhi on Friday over former BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks against Prophet Muhammad. The protesters also directed their anger at expelled BJP leader Naveen Jindal, while demanding the arrest of both. Hundreds of people gathered around the mosque area, chanting slogans against Sharma. Visuals showed protesters raising slogans and holding up posters demanding action against the two former BJP leaders. No untoward incident was reported during the protests which lasted about 15 minutes after the Friday prayers.

“Almost 1,500 people had gathered in Jama Masjid for Friday prayers. After the prayers, nearly 300 people came out and started to protest over inflammatory remarks by Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central District, Shweta Chauhan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI, while adding that action will be taken against the protesters as no required permissions were taken to organise the protests.

Public outrage over Sharma’s comments intensified as protests broke in several parts of India including Lucknow, Hyderabad, Moradabad and Kolkata, demanding Sharma’s arrest. According to a report, cops had to use force to drive away protesters in UP’s Moradabad. Protests were organised all over Punjab as Ludhiana Jama Masjid’s Imam demanded the arrest of those involved in disrespecting the Prophet, according to news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid clarified that no calls of protests were given by the mosque authorities, according to news agency ANI.

The Delhi police has lodged FIRs against the two BJP leaders in connection with the alleged derogatory remarks against the Prophet. Sharma has been issued summons asking her to appear before the Mumbra Police in Maharashtra on June 22 to record her statement after an FIR was registered against her in Thane district. After Sharma got repeated death and rape threats following her remarks, she and her family has been provided security by the Delhi Police. The Delhi Police has lodged FIRs against 31 people including Sharma, Jindal and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, among others, for “inciting people on divisive lines” on social media.

Nupur Sharma had created a global outrage after she alleged made derogatory remarks against the Prophet while talking on the Gyanvapi Masjid row on national television. Soon after her remarks, several Gulf countries summoned Indian envoys as many in the Islamic world called for boycott of Indian goods over the hate remarks by the saffron party’s spokespersons.

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