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Home Ministry issues advisory to States as protests over Prophet remarks continue

As protests mounted in several parts of the country over the recent controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad by suspended Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled leader Naveen Kumar Jindal, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said it was monitoring the situation.

A senior MHA official told The Hindu that an advisory has been sent to States regarding the protests.

The protests turned violent in West Bengal and Jharkhand after Friday prayers. Several commuters were stuck in a long winding traffic jam in Kolkata, Howrah and nearby areas as protestors blocked the national highway. The district administration temporarily blocked the Internet to bring the situation under control.

Similar protests were held in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Telengana and Gujarat. In Jammu’s Bhaderwah, restriction on movement of more than four people under Section 144 CrPC was imposed for two days.

The Ministry’s advice to States was sent after protests had broken out.

It cautioned that police forces could be the target of protestors and asked them to wear proper riot gear.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is on a three-day Gujarat tour that goes to elections later this year. He will be chairing a meeting of the western zonal council comprising Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu to be held in Diu on Saturday. will be held on Saturday in Diu.

The meeting being held after a gap of two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be attended by chief ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and administrator of the Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

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