Indian police are stepping up efforts to contain the religious unrest that has spread across the country following insults against the Prophet Muhammad by two Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party members.
Officials said on Sunday that police in India’s Kashmir had arrested Faisal Wani, a young man who posted a video threatening to behead now-suspended BJP spokeswoman Nupur Sharma on the video-sharing platform Youtube.
Late last week, protesters took to the streets to protest anti-Islam comments by Sharma and Naveen Jindal, officials from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party. To date, Muslim groups are still seeking the arrests of Sharma and Jindal for their comments, with a police case filed against the two former BJP officials. On the other hand, hardline Hindu groups have described the two officials who made the Islamophobic comments as brave and nationalist politicians.
On Sunday, Jindal tweeted that threats continued to overwhelm him and his family, some of his Twitter followers also tweeting that a crude bomb was defused near his residence in New Delhi.
Violent protests over statements insulting the Prophet Muhammad continue to take place in India. The minority Muslim community sees the insulting remarks as the latest example of pressure and humiliation under the BJP government, which has previously been criticized for alleged discrimination against the country’s Muslim minority ranging from restrictions on worship to bans on the use of the hijab.
Two teenagers were reportedly killed after clashing with police during protests in the East Indian city of Ranchi last weekend. Meanwhile, Indian police have arrested 300 people on suspicion of their involvement in sporadic riots in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
In the eastern state of West Bengal, authorities imposed emergency laws banning public gatherings in the industrial district of Howrah until June 16, following violent protests over insults on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a televised depart.
The state is also reported to have arrested 70 people on rioting and disturbing public order charges. Internet service was also cut off for more than 48 hours to prevent the unrest from continuing.
During his sit-in protest on Sunday, West Bengal BJP President Sukanta Majumdar accused Bangladesh of inciting violence in the state. West Bengal is known to share a long and open border with the Muslim-majority nation, Bangladesh.
Gulf countries have started boycotting Indian products.