30 injured in protests against anti-Islamic cartoon

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Dhaka, Sep 21: At least 30 people were injured as thousands of hardliner Islamic activists today staged protests and clashed with police here over a cartoon, published in a weekly magazine, ridiculing the name of Prophet Mohammad.

Bengali daily Prothom Alo's supplementary magazine 'Alpin' published the cartoon on Monday which led to resentment among hardliners, Islamic parties and their activists.

On September 21, immediately after 'Jumma' prayer at national mosque Baitul Mokarram, the Islamic activists of Hijbut Tahrir and Movement for Islamic Constitution assembled outside the mosque and shouted slogans demanding closure of the daily and arrest of its Editor Matiur Rahman,witnesses said.

The protestors started a march towards the newspaper office in central Dhaka and after parading through the streets for about five km, they clashed with helmeted police near Shahbagh road crossing.

Police charged batons to disperse the demonstrators, causing injuries to at least 30 people. Earlier, police had arrested cartoonist Arifur Rahman for drawing the cartoon that had insulted the religion and disrupted peace in the country. The Prothom Alo editor expressed regret and sought apology for the mistakes.

Under the state of emergency, all kinds of meetings and processions are banned in Bangladesh.


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