New Delhi, Jun 11 (EFE).- At least two people were killed and dozens were injured as India’s massive protests continued for the second day in a row on Saturday over recent controversial remarks about the Muslim Prophet Muhammad made by representatives of the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP party.
“Two people succumbed to their injuries at the Rajendra Medical Institute hospital after clashes in Ranchi,” the capital of the northern state of Jharkhand, the medical center said.
They were part of nearly 20 people who sustained injuries during rallies in Ranchi on Friday, one of several massive protests that took place across India, which ended in violent clashes and a police crackdown.
Nearly 10 members of the security forces were injured as they tried to disperse protesters by shooting rounds into the air and wielding police batons.
The protests, which took place in six states and were ongoing in at least one of them on Saturday, broke out in front of mosques, minutes after Friday prayers had concluded.
Fresh protests and clashes with police broke out on Saturday in the Howrah district of Bengal state, where the regional authorities, who oppose the BJP government, blame the ruling party for instigating the violence.
“Violent incidents have been taking place in Howrah for two days now. There are some political parties behind this and they want to cause riots,” the head of government of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee wrote on Twitter.
“But these will not be tolerated and strict action will be taken against all of them. BJP sin, people will suffer?” she added.
The thousands of people who have taken to the streets in the past two days are calling for punishment for Nupur Sharma, the BJP’s national spokesperson, to be punished over her controversial comments on the prophet Muhammad.
Sharma has been suspended from the Hindu nationalist party amid the fallout.
Following clashes and vandalism, a strong security deployment was out in force in the city of Ranchi on Saturday, while many businesses were closed.
“I call on everyone to maintain harmony and refrain from participating in any activities that lead to more crimes of this kind,” Jharkhand’s chief minister, Hemant Soren, told reporters.
There have also been widespread protests in several nations in the Muslim world, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran, in the wake of the Sharma’s comments. EFE