‘Anti-Islam film’ protest turns violent 1 killed in Dir clashes
At least one protestor was killed and many others sustained injuries in Dir district when the Police opened fire on infuriated mob that also set ablaze a police station, house of a local magistrate and a local Press Club.
According to reports, the protester was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the law enforcers on Monday during a demonstration in Upper Dir district against the anti-Islam film titled “Innocence of Muslims”.
Reports from Dir said around 1000 angry protestors took to streets in Warai area in the Upper Dir to express their anguish against the sacrilegious film.
The police and the officials of the district administration said demonstrators during the protest turned violent and torched a Police Station and a local magistrate’s house besides setting local Press Club ablaze. The “Innocence of Muslims” film, which mocks the Prophet Mohammed and is thought to have been produced by a small group of Christian extremists in the United States with an aim to mock Islam and create misunderstandings about the Universal religion.
In Peshawar, thousands of emotionally charged students belonging to five public sector universities and allied institutions marched through the campuses and main roads to condemn the heinous act by a group of Americans and asked the government to effectively take up the matter internationally and snap diplomatic ties with the America.
In the meanwhile Information Minister Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Mian Iftikhar Hussein said the anti-Islam movie was intolerable and the government should take it up at the diplomatic level.
Speaking at a press conference, the minister said US government and United Nations should take notice of the issue and must stop the entire website containing the movie that sparked widespread protests in Muslim world.
He observed that making of the movie “Innocence of Islam” was a deliberate attempt by a few Americans not only to malign Islam and create unrest among the faithful but also widening gulf between the Muslim word and the West, which was highly deplorable and had to be taken seriously by the Western leadership.
In Lahore, the violent protestors tried an assault on US Consulate, posing real challenge to law enforcement elements.
This alarming state of affairs prompted the Government to tighten security of the American Consulate, along with other consulates.
In Karachi, a rally in protest of an anti-Islam film met with shelling from police personnel on Monday as the demonstrators tried to march on the US Consulate.
The rally was led by the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba (IJT). The atmosphere turned tense when the protestors, demonstrating near the city’s MT Khan road, tried to march towards the US Consulate located a small distance from the scene of the protest. A large contingent of Rangers and police personnel was guarding the area, and roads which had been blocked in anticipation of the protests.
Security personnel opened aerial fire to stop the protestors from marching towards the high security area where the consulate is located. Clashes ensued as demonstrators pelted security personnel with stones, damaging one of their vehicles.
A senior police official said 30 students were arrested.
A demonstrator died after being shot in the head during clashes with police near the US consulate on Sunday.
Civic life remained in the grip of uneasy calm in the city on the back of protests over anti-Islam film by different groups and counter action by the law enforcing agencies. Flow of traffic in different parts of the city remained disturbed.