Protest in Kolkata over nude photos of women with ‘Allah and Muhammad’ texts

By Staff Reporter,

Kolkata: Several Muslim groups led a protest in Kolkata angered by photographs published in a Bengali Daily of women protesting in nude, with Arabic texts, including names of Allah and Prophet Muhammad.

The tabloid supplement of the Bengali Daily `Khabor 365 Din' published photographs of women protesting in nude that irked some Muslims groups calling for a protest on March 11 from morning. Angry protesters set ablaze few copies of the newspaper `Khabor 365 Din' and blocked the road at the Park Street Junction in Park Circus Area for what they termed as an attempt at “hurting the sentiments” of Muslims.

Protest against 365 newspaper at Park street Park Circus.

Protesters carried in their hands the copy of the picture printed in that newspaper at Park Street Mallickbazar Junction and surrounding area. Protesters sat on dharna outside the office of the newspaper.

`Khabor 365 Din' carried their cover page of the tabloid entertainment supplement `Bibi' with the lead heading `Nari Nirjataner Pratibade' ( In protest against women torturing) with the sub heading `Bari Dibase Biswa jure Pratibad' (Protest worldwide) and also published the caption `Pariser Luvor piramider samne femener pratibad' (In front of Louvre Pyramid). The Cover story of the Tabloid was continued in pages 4 and 5, with more photographs of women protesting naked with Arabic texts of their bodies.

Police immediately swung in action and took stock of the situation. Within minutes the news reached the state administration office as well as the Chief Minister Office at Nabbana. Protesters demanded the arrest of the Editor of the Bengali Daily. Source said, Police Head Quarter at Lalbazar called the Assistant editor of the `Khabor 365 Din' Mr Abhijit Majumder and their Crime reporter to meet the higher police officials.

`Khabor 365 Din' is seen as pro-TMC paper and publication of such “anti-religious” photographs that is seen as “hurting the sentiments” just before the elections, may affect the elections’ outcome, many TMC insiders feel. According to source of CMO, Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee is herself looking at the situation.

State Urban development Minister Firhad Hakim and Fire Protection Minister Jawed Ahmed Khan have been deputed to ease the anger of the protesters.

`Khabor 365 Din' is a Bengali newspaper running since 2011, owned by the Rose Valley group, that was involved in the chit fund scheme. Rose Valley also has Bengali TV news Channel `News Time' and both are known in the state for their TMC stand.

Firhad Hakim and Imam of Nakhoda Mosque Maulana Muhammad Shafique appeal to the protesters for maintaining clam.

The protesters were still sitting on dharna outside the office of the Bengali daily the time of filing this story in evening. Urban development Minister of West Bengal Firhad Hakim and Imam of Nakhoda Mosque Maulana Muhammad Shafique had meanwhile reached the spot and tired to mollify the crowd.