Two persons were killed and many including security personnel were critically injured as violent protests rocked Ranchi over comments of two suspended BJP spokespersons on Prophet Mohammad, officials said on Saturday.
Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been clamped in 10 police station areas, including Sukhdev Nagar, Lower Bazar, Daily Market and Hindpidi, to control any further flareups, they said. The Internet has also been suspended in the district, they added.
Over two dozen people were injured in the clashes that rocked the state capital on Friday, officials said.
Thirteen of the critically injured people were admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), doctors there said.
"Two of them died late last night. The conditions of three people are serious and they are battling for their lives. The injured include CRPF personnel and policemen," a RIMS official said.
Ranchi's Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Surendra Kumar Jha was admitted to the Medica Hospital with head injury, officials said. He also received injuries in other parts of his body on being hit by stones, they said.
Some Hindutva outfits have called for a Ranchi bandh on Saturday, asking traders to keep their shops shut in protest against the violence.
Condemning the violence, Governor Ramesh Bais has asked Chief Minister Hemant Soren to take strict action against those involved.
The violent protesters have been demanding the arrest of suspended BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal for their controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad.
Muslims held mostly peaceful protests outside mosques after Friday prayers in several parts of India, calling for quick prosecution of the now-suspended BJP spokespersons. Apart from Ranchi, clashes between protesters and police also occurred at Allahabad and Bhaderwah town of Jammu.
A small group held placards and chanted slogans outside Jama Masjid in Delhi, with neighbourhood residents joining in. The police persuaded the crowd of about 300 to disperse — after continuous TV coverage of alleged communal tension in the area —and said action would be taken against those protesting without permission.
Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of the mosque, told reporters: “I don’t know who these protesters were. They do not have our permission, nor has anything been discussed. We discourage people from doing politics on this issue.”
Varanasi — home to the Gyanvapi mosque, the subject of a controversy that triggered Sharma’s remarks — remained peaceful. The mosque management had appealed to people to offer Friday prayers at any mosque near their home and ignore rumours. As a result, only about 20 people offered prayers at the Gyanvapi.
Protests were reported from many places in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir. Central forces were deployed in several places although most of the demonstrations were peaceful.