India Intelligence Report
 

Cartoon Protests in India

 

About 50,000 Pakistanis marched to protest the cartoons that depict Prophet Mohammed distastefully in Karachi. Multinationals companies, Christian cinemas, flew black flags to show sympathy to the marchers and also to avoid being attacked. Armed soldiers watched over the procession from rooftop but no violence was reported. A religious rally leader urged the rally to be peaceful and called on Pakistan to terminate relations with European countries that published these cartoons. Pakistan accused founder-leader of banned terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba of violating prohibitory orders against demonstration and placed the under house arrest. They also detained 150 protestors. A Pakistani cleric offered reward to anyone who would kill the cartoonist. In India, a Uttar Pradesh Minister and senior Samajwadi Party member Yaqoob Qureshi shocked India by offering Rs. 51 crore in gold to the "avenger" who will behead the cartoonist; he said Muslim women will donate their jewelry to pay for the killing. He has violated various sections of the Indian Penal Code for abetting violence, exporting violence, and creating animosity between religious groups. If the Government acts on these charges, he can be jailed for 7-25 years or get the death penalty if someone should actually kill the cartoonist. The Andhra Pradesh Assembly unanimously voted to denounce the cartoons and urged the Government of India to communicate its reservations to Denmark, Norway, and other European nations where the cartoons were reproduced. Violent incidents in Hyderabad brought life to a standstill where irate Muslims burnt police assets, stoned shops, and attacked a place of worship.

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