An uneasy calm prevailed in Jharkhand’s Ranchi on Saturday, less than 24 hours after a protest against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s inflammatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) turned violent.
Streets were deserted as prohibitory orders remained in force in parts of the city, and internet services were suspended. Announcements were being made through the public address system in all localities, warning citizens not to venture out, otherwise they would be taken into custody.
No violent incident has been reported in Ranchi after irate protesters swept through parts of the city on Friday, pelting stones and committing arson. Several policemen were injured in the melee. Police had to resort to firing as well as baton-charge to disperse the mob.
Many shops and establishments had remained shut in Ranchi since Friday morning in protest against the remarks by Nupur Sharma and now expelled Delhi BJP media in-charge Naveen Jindal.
The protests, one of many reported in other cities across India, broke out after Friday prayers. Demonstrators bearing placards and shouting slogans demanded the BJP leader’s arrest for her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
The hundreds-strong protesters eventually streamed out onto the main road. When police at the scene carried out a baton-charge, the crowd retaliated with stone pelting, resulting in injuries to several police personnel and those caught in the cross fire.
In the end, police had to resort to firing in the air to disperse the protesters. The wounded were taken to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for treatment. Among them, two people later succumbed to their injuries, hospital authorities said on Saturday.
#WATCH | Jharkhand: Protest over the controversial remarks by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma turned violent in Ranchi. Vehicles were torched and vandalised and stone-pelting occurred. Injuries reported. pic.twitter.com/Z5FIndjZzf
— ANI (@ANI) June 10, 2022
Bihar minister Nitin Navin, who was in Ranchi on Friday, had a narrow escape. His convoy was caught in the midst of the protests and the windscreen of his vehicle was allegedly smashed by the demonstrators. The BJP leader was unhurt in the encounter.
Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC were imposed on 500 metres of both sides of the main road from Albert Ekka Chowk to Sujata Chowk near overbridge.
Drone surveillance was also being carried out in the affected area to keep an eye on miscreants, police said.
In the wake of the violence on Friday, many religious organizations called for a citywide shutdown.