Home > US Edition > The Gulf War II > Report
Anti-US protests follow Friday prayers
March 21, 2003 22:58 IST
Protests against the US-led war in Iraq were witnessed after the Friday prayers in many parts of India.
In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, hundreds of people gathered at two prominent mosques and set fire to US flags and raised anti-US slogans.
Shia scholar Maulana Kalbe Jawaad and Sunni cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman demanded the immediate withdrawal of the US-led forces from Iraq.
They also prayed for the safety and security of the Iraqis.
"[US President] George Bush has his eye on the rich oil reserves of Iraq and is therefore interested in the subjugation of that nation," Kalbe Jawaad said.
Police baton-charged and teargassed demonstrators at several places in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.
Nearly 200 people took to the streets in Maisuma, Srinagar, shouting anti-US slogans and pelting stones on the police. They also attempted to block traffic.
Shops in several localities in Srinagar remained closed.
A procession was witnessed from the historic Jamia Masjid in the old city. The protestors burnt an effigy of Bush in Nowhatta chowk.
Scores of people also held protests in front of the UN military observers' group office near Sonwar.
Similar reports were also received from Anantnag and Charar-e-Sharief in central Budgam district.
In the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secunderabd in Andhra Pradesh, thousands of Muslims prayed for peace in Iraq and condemned the US and Britain for their 'anti-Islam and anti-Muslim policies'.
The Islamic Democratic Forum, comprising 23 organisations, held several protest meetings and called on the people to boycott American goods.
The IDF, at a meeting at the Darulshifa grounds in the Old City, adopted a resolution urging the government to take a strong stand against the US.
Islamuddin Mujahid, one of the speakers at the meeting, warned that in future India could also become a target of an unbridled US.
Meanwhile, a hundred Indians returned to Hyderabad from Kuwait in a special Indian Airlines flight. Among them were six children whose parents could not accompany them.
The passengers termed the situation in Kuwait as scary and traumatic.
"When we were coming to airport from our house, there were sirens and gas alarm. We were forced to take shelter in a bunker," eight-year-old Dhiraj said. "Even while at home, our mother was keeping us locked in a room with all the windows closed."
The Andhra Pradesh assembly adopted a resolution condemning the attack and communicated the same to the Centre and the United Nations.
With inputs from: Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar, Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad and Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
Photo: Syed Mohd Mehdi