Pakistan protests over blasphemous post by ‘extremist’ in India
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday lodged a strong protest with India on a derogatory social media post against Islam in Bengaluru, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said.
At least three people were killed in overnight clashes triggered by the post offensive to Muslims.
The violence began late on Tuesday, with mobs pelting stones, burning vehicles and setting a police station on fire, and lasted until the early hours of Wednesday. Dozens of people were wounded.
“Pakistan has conveyed its strong condemnation to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on the reported incident involving a derogatory social media post against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) by an extremist from the majority Hindu community in Bengaluru, Karnataka,” the statement read.
It said that the offensive post against Islam has hurt Muslims and reflected the rising Islamophobia and targeting of the minority communities in India.
“The Indian police instead of preventing this hate crime against Muslims and Islam, used brute force, killed at least three protesters, and injured many more. As an added injustice, the Muslim community in the area is being falsely framed for alleged vandalism and assault on police personnel.”
The ministry said that the rising incidents of religious hate crime in India are a direct and inescapable consequence of the RSS-BJP combine’s extremist ideology of ‘Hindutva’.
“The incident has been viewed with concern and the civil society in Pakistan has called for justice for the minority Muslim community in India,” the statement added.
Pakistan called upon the government of India to investigate the incident and take immediate action against the perpetrators of religious hatred.
The government of India has also been called upon to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the minority communities, particularly Muslims, and take steps to ensure prevention of hate speech and hate crimes against Islam and protection of religious rights of Muslims.
“The international community, the United Nations and relevant international organisations should play their role against the rising tide of Islamophobia in India and ensure practical steps for the protection and religious rights of minorities in India,” the MoFa statement added.
Television channels on Tuesday night showed a group of people gathered outside a police station, clashing with officers and burning several police vehicles.
On Wednesday afternoon, charred remains of several cars and motorcycles were strewn across the basement parking lot of DJ Halli police station in Bengaluru, the facade of which was also scarred by fire.
Nearby streets were lined with burnt vehicles, with all shops shuttered along the nearly two-km stretch where the police station is located.
“We are investigating the issue and will make use of the CCTV footage to see who is behind these violent acts, and will take stringent actions,” said Basavraj Bommai, home minister of Karnataka state.