Clergy tells Americans to leave Kashmir
‘Will attack US citizens if they are seen in the Valley’
Amidst uproar in the Valley against the US triggered by a controversial anti-Islam film, Kashmir’s top clergyman has asked all Americans to leave the state or face public wrath.
“Like other parts of the Muslim world, situation in Kashmir is also turning grave over the issue (of the controversial anti-Islam film). It is in the interests of the US citizens to leave Kashmir or they will have to face the public anger,” the self-appointed chief justice of the ‘shariat’ (Islamic) court in Kashmir, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din Ahmad told Deccan Herald.
“Our advice to them (US citizens) is to leave the Valley. We as Muslims won’t even hesitate to sacrifice our lives for dignity and honour of our beloved Prophet,” he added.
The state government-backed Grand Mufti asked the people to register their protest against the blasphemous film and “even attack US citizens if they are seen anywhere in the Valley from Saturday”.
In response to the statement, US Embassy in New Delhi has sent out a message reiterating its call for citizens to stay away from Kashmir.
Meanwhile, protests over the controversial film erupted in several parts of Kashmir on Friday. However, no violence has been reported even as authorities placed top separatist leaders under preventive detention.
Authorities had deployed a large contingent of police and para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at sensitive places in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley anticipating more protests.
A police spokesperson said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code are in place in Srinagar to prevent any breach of law and order.
Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani and Mufti Bashir had called for protests across the Valley after Friday congregational prayers. Mufti Bashir had also called for a complete shutdown for the day. However, there was no response to his strike call, police said.
Chanting “Down with America” and “Down with Israel” thousands of angry Muslims, burning US flags and calling President Barack Obama a “terrorist”, marched on streets across the Valley, reports added.
Cutting across ideological divide, mainstream and separatist parties have condemned the blasphemous film made by a radical Christian pastor in the US.
Ruling National Conference said makers of the film represent a radical mindset which is bent upon vitiating peaceful atmosphere across the world.
CPI (M) state secretary M Y Tarigami condemned the video, saying such expressions of radical views push humanity towards conflict.
The state government approached the union telecommunications ministry to block the video on YouTube.