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Violence in Delhi Over 'Desecration of Qur'an'

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    http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4§ion=0&article=101619&d=24&m=9&y=2007&pix=world.jpg&category=World Monday, 24, September, 2007 (12, Ramadhan, 1428) Violence
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 2007

      Monday, 24, September, 2007 (12, Ramadhan, 1428)

      Violence in Delhi Over 'Desecration of Qur'an'
      Nilofar Suhrawardy, Arab News

      NEW DELHI, 24 September 2007 - A mob angry over an alleged desecration of the Qur'an burned down two police posts in Delhi's Jamia Nagar district late Saturday. The situation returned to normal yesterday after a tense night.

      The trouble began Saturday evening when police tried to remove handcarts obstructing traffic on a road near Batla House. When some copies of the Qur'an kept on one of the carts fell down, vendors became angry, blaming the policemen for showing disrespect to the holy book.

      According to another version of the incident, the trouble began when policemen beat up three roadside vendors who had not paid them bribes. "We refused to pay bribes and said that we could only give money after earning a profit from the sales. They (policemen) did not listen to us and kicked a cart, where a copy of the Qur'an had been kept for sale. They didn't stop here. They beat up three vendors mercilessly," said Wali, one of the vendors.

      As word spread about the incident, a crowd gathered after the Isha prayer and protested outside the Jamia police post. Soon the crowd of protestors turned violent, pelting the police post with stones. They also set the police post on fire, despite police using batons to try to disperse the crowd, firing tear gas and live rounds in the air.

      Local trader Sultan Ahmed said: "We were trying to sort out the issue with the police. They urged us to bring in the person who had put up the bookstall and to whom the Qur'an belonged. Suddenly the mob started throwing stones at the post. The gate was locked but the mob broke down the gate and many policemen were hurt in the process."

      Before setting fire to the Jamia police post, the mob burned the police records there. They also set ablaze police vehicles. The mob also showered the Shahinbagh police post with stones and then set it on fire.

      At least 15 policemen were injured in the violence. Two of them are in serious condition. The injured policemen were admitted to Apollo Hospital, Holy Family Hospital and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. A student, who received bullet wounds, is recovering in hospital.

      Aside from sending reinforcements to the troubled area, police have sounded an alert in other Muslim-dominated areas of the capital.

      Police have asked wireless networks to jam signals in the disturbed district and adjoining areas to prevent rumors from spreading. They also initially requested television channels not to report the news of the incident for a few hours to prevent the violence from spreading

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