rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Anti-Islam film protest turns violent in Pak; 2 killed

Anti-Islam film protest turns violent in Pak; 2 killed

Last updated on: September 17, 2012 22:23 IST

Two persons have been killed in protests over an anti-Islam film in Pakistan where the Supreme Court ordered the blocking of the controversial video on Internet and protesters clashed with police for a second day in Karachi trying to march to the US consulate.

One person was killed in violent protests in northwest Pakistan's Upper Dir area today, taking to two the number of people killed over the film. One person had been killed in Karachi during anti-US protests.

A man was killed and two more were injured in a reported exchange of fire with police during a protest in Upper Dir district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest.

A mob of nearly 1,000 people also set on fire a press club and a police station during the protest.

In Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, thousands of students and teachers joined several protests against the anti-Islam film.

The protesters shouted slogans against the US, burnt American flags and blocked roads by setting tyres on fire.

Members of the Islami Jamiat Talaba, the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami, were among those who joined the protests.

The demonstrators also called for the film to be banned.

The protests, which began on Friday, spread to northwest Pakistan.

In Karachi, protesters clashed with police for a second day today as they tried to march to the US consulate, and several protesters and policemen were injured along with damage to property.

The students wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami took out the protest rally and protesters tried to enter the Mai Kolachi road on which the US consulate is located through a residential area after police had blocked all roads and access points. The residents of the area too joined in the protests

The residential area Sultanabad which is about 500 metres away from the consulate became the flashpoint today as police resorted to heavy shelling and aerial firing.

Protesters later causing damage to vehicles, petrol pumps and shops and caused a traffic gridlock in and around the area.

Police said they had arrested around 100 protesters but had registered no cases against them.

In Islamabad, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to "immediately block" clips from the film on YouTube and other websites.

The PTA Chairman was directed to submit a report on the matter to the court later in the day.

The apex court issued its order while hearing a constitutional petition filed by retired judge Wajihuddin Ahmed and former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed.

The petition had asked the court to block obscene and objectionable material in the media.

Noting that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had not laid down standards for programming, the bench directed the body to frame a "commonly accepted standard of decency" and take measures to control obscenity and indecency within two weeks.

After the Supreme Court issued its order, the PTA blocked over 750 links featuring contents from the anti-Islam film.

However, officials told the media that about 100 clips of the film are being uploaded on YouTube every day.

The officials said YouTube had been formally approached to remove such contents.

The film has triggered violent anti-American protests across the Muslim world.

A total of 17 people have died in violence linked to the film, including the US Ambassador to Libya.

At least 44 policemen, besides 11 protesters, were injured in the clashes in Karachi.

The US consulate in Karachi was shifted to its present location from a security red zone some time back after a bomb attack.

Rezaul H Laskar Islamabad/Karachi
© Copyright 2013 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.