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Internet suspended, curfew imposed in cities as tensions mount over Nupur Sharma’s remarks


In the midst of the controversy sparked by former BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks on Prophet Muhammad, tension mounted in the Doda and Kishtwar areas of the Jammu region prompting authorities to impose a curfew there while parts of Kashmir observed a shutdown.

Officials confirmed that the internet services in the Bhaderwah and Kishtwar towns of Jammu and Kashmir were suspended due to disturbances. Mobile internet services in several areas were also revoked as a precautionary measure, said authorities.

In Kashmir, security forces have been deployed in strength at sensitive places of Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley for maintaining law and order. The old city – popularly known as Downtown Srinagar – witnessed a complete shutdown with public transport off the roads.

Offices and schools in the entire Jammu and Kashmir remained functioning as usual, and Lal Chowk had free-flowing traffic, but internet services remained suspended to prevent rumour-mongering and the spread of fake news over the controversy.

There have been no reports of untoward incidents in the Valley so far, said the police officials, but the mobile internet services have been revoked as a precaution, since protests over the comments of the former BJP leader erupted in parts of the country, including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

According to officials, tension spread in the Bhaderwah area on Thursday evening after alleged inflammatory speeches were made during a protest against derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Purported video clips of the inflammatory speeches went viral on social media. The police have registered a case and warned people against taking the law into their own hands. It was also reported that hate speech against Nupur Sharma was delivered from a mosque, and social media posts igniting tensions were also shared.

Controversy erupted when former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma made some objectionable remarks about Prophet Muhammad, which attracted flak from the Muslim community and several Gulf countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, prompting the BJP to suspend Sharma for her remarks.

(With PTI reports)

READ | Who is Nupur Sharma, BJP leader expelled for her controversial remark


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