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Rally against 'offensive film' turns violent in Kolkata

Kolkata, Sept 27, 2012, DHNS: 1:27 IST
Protestors break the police cordon during a demonstration against anti-Islam film in front of American Center in Kolkata on Thursday. PTI
Life came to a sudden halt after an anti-US rally called in by Muslim groups in Kolkata on Thursday against the 'anti-Islam' film 'Innocence of Muslims' turned violent.

The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when thousands of protesters, belonging to various Muslim organisations, including the All-Bengal Minorities Youth Federation, blocked the road, broke barricades and tried to enter the American Centre but were stopped some distance away by the police.

Police, however, managed to pacify the crowd and bring them under control, thus preventing any untoward incident, sources said.

“There was a demonstration in front of the American Centre in Kolkata and suddenly the demonstrators turned violent and tried to break the barricade and enter into the centre. We resisted them and persuaded them to conduct their rally peacefully,” a senior Kolkata police officer said.

“We were successful in persuading the demonstrators and there was no untoward incident. No one was injured in the incident,” the officer added.

“Traffic movement in the city faced a serious problem because the road in front of the American Centre is one of the main roads in the city. We had to divert the traffic causing serious jam throughout the city. But now the traffic movement has become normal,” the officer said.

The film, 'Innocence of Muslims', by US director Sam Bacile, has led to violent protests worldwide, including demonstrations in Chennai and Jammu and Kashmir in India.

Muslim groups in India have called for a ban on the film, with one such group filing a PIL in the Bombay High Court.

The Kashmir Valley was rocked by protests a week ago as demonstrators led by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik took to the streets, leading to clashes with the police.

The film triggered off violent clashes in Libya where the US ambassador was killed in an attack on the US embassy in Benghazi.

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