Fri, September 21, 2012

Police disperse women protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir

2012-09-21 14:42:09 GMT2012-09-21 22:42:09(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Police fired dozens of tear smoke canisters Friday to disperse a group of women protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials and eyewitnesses said.

The fully veiled women protesters from hardline Muslim women separatist group, Dukhtaran-e-Millat (Daughters of Faith) were carrying placards and banners showcasing anti-U.S. slogans and seeking death of controversial filmmaker.

The activists took to roads in Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, despite severe restrictions.

"The tear gas canisters were fired to disperse women protesters, who had defied the restrictions," said a police official. "Their assembly would have created law and order problem in the city."

Meanwhile, massive protests were staged across the region including Jammu province over U.S. made anti-Islam movie and publication of blasphemous cartoons by a French magazine mocking Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. Reports said protests were staged in Jammu city - the region's winter capital, Poonch, Dooda, Rajouri and other places. The protesters torched U.S. flags and burnt effigies of U.S. president to vent their anger.

A police spokesman in Srinagar said the demonstrations were peaceful. However, stone pelting incidents were reported at few places.

"Peaceful marches were taken out at many places across the Kashmir valley against the blasphemous movie clips," said a police spokesman. "Groups of people staged peaceful marches in Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Handwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Sopore, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Awantipora."

The trailers of the film mocking Prophet Mohammed available on video sharing website YouTube sparked violent protests and evoked condemnations worldwide. The film titled "Innocence of Muslims" has portrayed Prophet of Islam in insulting terms.

Authorities had also imposed severe restrictions in Srinagar city and other major towns in a bid to thwart possible protests over the blasphemous acts.

Massive protests have rocked Muslim countries over the movie. In Libya four Americans including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed last week when a mob attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during such protests.

On Tuesday protesters in Srinagar city torched a government vehicle and policemen had to fire dozens of tear smoke shells to disperse protesters.

Indian-controlled Kashmir government has condemned the production and telecast of blasphemous film and described it an attempt to hurt the sentiments of people and disturb international peace.


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