Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fearing violence on Friday, Kashmir govt orders closure of schools



schools-closedAuthorities in Muslim-majority Kashmir have ordered schools to observe a holiday on Friday to preempt any mishap should there be violent protests over the US-made anti-Islam film denouncing the Prophet Muhammad.

“We have apprehensions about the law and order situation in the valley tomorrow. So as a precautionary measure to prevent any untoward incident, we have ordered all government and private schools to close down for a day tomorrow,” Director of school education, Muhammad Shafi Rather said.

Violent protests erupted across the Muslim world after a trailer of an amateurish film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’, appeared on the Internet last week. The movie showed the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, in poor light.

Besides, a US diplomat was killed in an attack in Libya, apparently retaliation by Muslim fighters to the blasphemous content produced in America.

In Kashmir, protests continue since Friday last and a complete shutdown was observed on Tuesday after appeals by religious groups, separatists, lawyers and businessmen.

Barring a few incidents, the protests in the valley were largely peaceful: quite unlike the past in this scenic Himalayan region known to erupt over any act of blasphemy or sacrilege in any corner of the world.

At least 14 people died in the valley in September 2010 after police or paramilitaries fired at protesters who were angry about reports of desecration of the Quran by an American pastor.
Jammu and Kashmir’s cabinet, which last met on Wednesday, said it condemned the movie unanimously. Chief minister Omar Abdullah also said he was in touch with New Delhi to bring the “perpetrators of the act to justice”.

He, however, appealed to people to maintain calm.

On Sunday, the union ministry of Information and broadcasting said Google India had blocked the content after requests by the state government.


(FPK)
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