Protests erupted after Friday prayers at several places across Uttar Pradesh over comments on Prophet Muhammad by former Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma, which involved stone-pelting in Prayagraj district.
People raised slogans and pelted stones in the Atala area of Prayagraj after the Friday prayers ended. A heavy police force was deployed in the area to ensure law and order. Senior police and administrative officials have also reached the spot.
Stone pelting in Prayagraj. The protest over Nupur Sharma's inflammatory remark turned violent. Several police and para military personnel have been injured. pic.twitter.com/UfJKfLQ5mo— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) June 10, 2022
Besides Prayagraj, the PTI quoted a senior official at the Uttar Pradesh Police headquarters in Lucknow as saying that sloganeering took place in Saharanpur, Moradabad, Rampur, and Lucknow. Lathi-charge to disperse protesters was also reported in Moradabad and its visuals surfaced on social media.
Additional Director General (Law and Order) Parashant Kumar said, "The reports of stone-pelting in Prayagraj are being looked into." He said Friday prayers were held peacefully in most places across the state.
It was also reported from Prayagraj that the car of the ADG came under stone-pelting and the ADG's gunner was injured.
In Prayagraj: Protesters pelted stones on the ADG's vehicle, ADG's car glass broken & Gunner injured. pic.twitter.com/qFYstWaTAD— Nikhil Choudhary (@NikhilCh_) June 10, 2022
An incident of arson was also reported from Prayagraj.
Reports of stone pelting, violence and arson in UP's Prayagraj. Situation slips out of hand after protest following Friday prayers goes berserk. pic.twitter.com/2Y9obKRBAT— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) June 10, 2022
The clashes today come a week after violence erupted in Kanpur, when some people tried to force shopkeepers to down shutters over Sharma's remarks, according to police. A high alert was issued across UP after that and a heavy police force was deployed to ensure that violence does not occur again.
(With PTI inputs)