Nupur Sharma Row: Tense situation in West Bengal, Jharkhand, over 400 arrests so far

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Nupur Sharma Row: More than 400 people have been arrested after protests in several states on Friday against remarks made by BJP leaders  Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal regarding Prophet Mohammad. 

On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh administration continued to demolish the “illegal” houses of the accused, while sporadic incidents of violence affected life in West Bengal and Section 144 remained in force in various parts of the country.

A total of 316 people have been arrested from eight districts of Uttar Pradesh, while around 100 people have been arrested in West Bengal. 

Meanwhile, Ranchi police have registered 25 FIRs against “thousands” of people for the June 10 clashes in Jharkhand’s capital, in which two people were killed and several others were injured.

The situation remains tense and security has been beefed up in various parts of the country.

Hundreds arrested after protests

Authorities opposed the protest with all available police forces, special services and the army. ”

Administrative decisions – such as the demolition of ‘illegal’ structures in UP and attempts to arrest people following the recent clashes by Jharkhand police – have fueled protests in some parts of the country.

Rage in opposition parties

Political parties and activists, including the Samajwadi Party, have accused the authorities of arbitrariness after the protests. Senior Congress leader and former home minister P Chidambaram said the prime minister should have spoken and taken action immediately after the objectionable statements. 

However, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said that law and order is a matter for the state and they should take strict action against the rioters.

Sporadic violence and heavy police deployments

There were sporadic incidents of violence and protests at Bethuadahari railway station in Nadia, West Bengal, on Sunday evening, including attacking a local train and damaging a local train, while Section 144 continued in parts of Howrah and Murshidabad districts.

In Bethuadahari, West Bengal, more than 1,000 protesters pelted stones, damaged houses and tried to block roads, a police official said. After being chased by the police, a group of them went inside the Bethuadhari railway station and attacked a train parked on a platform there. Due to the incident, train service on that line was disrupted for about two hours.

In Uttar Pradesh, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has vowed to take stern action against rioters. Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said that 13 cases have been registered and 316 people from eight districts have been arrested.

“92 people have been arrested in Prayagraj, 79 in Saharanpur, 51 in Hathras, 34 in Ambedkar Nagar, 35 in Moradabad, 15 in Firozabad, six in Aligarh and four in Jalaun,” Prashant Kumar said.

In Ranchi, internet services were restored in the district after about 33 hours, while Rapid Action Force, Anti-Terrorism Squad, Special Task Force and District Police were deployed at strategic locations including 38 marked sensitive areas. 

The police conducted a flag march in the East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand and enforced Section 144 in the area adjacent to Saraikela-Kharsawan as a precaution to prevent any communal violence.

first published:June 13, 2022, 8:35 a.m.



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