Indian police are stepping up arrests in an effort to quell religious turmoil sparked by anti-Islam statements.
India: On Sunday, police in India’s Kashmir detained a teenager for threatening to behead a former spokesperson for India’s ruling party who had made insulting remarks against Islam’s religious leader Prophet Muhammad.

Authorities have taken down the film, which was widely disseminated on YouTube, as part of a larger effort to quell religious turmoil that has swept across the country.

 

Muslims have flocked to the streets to protest anti-Islamic remarks made in recent weeks by two members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

 

The BJP suspended Nupur Sharma and expelled another leader, Naveen Kumar Jindal, earlier this month for their provocative statements regarding the Prophet’s private life, which enraged several Muslim countries and presented the Modi government with a major diplomatic headache.

 

The two former BJP executives have been charged by the police.

 

Last week, India’s foreign ministry stated that the tweets and comments do not reflect the government’s views.

 

Clashes erupted across the country over the statements, which some in the minority Muslim community saw as the latest example of BJP-era pressure and humiliation on matters ranging from freedom of worship to the wearing of hijab head scarves.

Protesters battled with police in the eastern city of Ranchi last week, killing two adolescents.

 

Over 300 persons were arrested as a result of sporadic disturbances in northern Uttar Pradesh.

 

Authorities in West Bengal’s eastern state have imposed an emergency legislation restricting public gatherings in Howrah’s industrial district until June 16. After the recent communal unrest, at least 70 people were arrested on charges of rioting and breaching public order, and Internet services were suspended for more than 48 hours.

 

The BJP has instructed numerous senior members to be “very cautious” when discussing religion on public venues, and the government is tightening public security.

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