At least three people were killed, dozens more injured during clashes provoked by the allegedly blasphemous Facebook post
Pakistan on Wednesday condemned an Indian extremist’s posting on Facebook of content against Islam, with the Foreign Office saying had hurt the sentiments of Muslims.
“Pakistan has conveyed its strong condemnation to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on the reported incident involving a derogatory social media post against [Islam’s Prophet] by an extremist from the majority Hindu community in Bengaluru, Karnataka,” it said.
The allegedly blasphemous post provoked protests in Karnataka, resulting in an attack on a police station and a politician’s house and vehicles being torched. Subsequent clashes between police and the protesters caused the deaths of at least three people and injuries of dozens more.
According to Indian media, police opened fire on the protesters after it appeared they would be overwhelmed in a Muslim-dominated neighborhood of Bengaluru.
“The offensive post against Islam has hurt Muslims and reflects the rising Islamophobia and targeting of the minority communities in India,” read the Foreign Office statement. “The Indian police, instead of preventing such crimes against Muslims and Islam, used brute force and killed at least three protesters, and injured many more. As an added injustice, the Muslim community in the area is being falsely framed for alleged vandalism and assault on police personnel,” it added.
Reiterating that such incidents were a consequence of India’s extremist Hindutva ideology under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Foreign Office said the matter was of great concern, adding justice should be ensured for minority Muslims in India. “Pakistan has called upon the Government of India to investigate the incident and take immediate action against the perpetrators of religious hatred,” it said, adding that Delhi must ensure the safety, security and well-being of its minorities, and take steps to curb hate speech and hate crimes against Islam.
“The international community, the United Nations and relevant international organizations should play their role against the rising tide of Islamophobia in India and ensure practical steps for the protection and religious rights of minorities in India,” the statement concluded.