Malegaon/Dhule: Hundreds of Muslims in Malegaon, Dhule, Nandurbar and other parts of Maharashtra on Sunday staged massive protests against Marathi daily Lokmat over publication of a blasphemous cartoon in its Special Sunday Edition. Following the protests and complaints, police in Malegaon and Nandurbar registered cases against the editor and artist of the newspaper.
Outraged Muslims led by Ghulam Mustafa Rizvi, Dr Raees Rizvi, Yusuf Ilyas, Mufti Naeem Raza Misbahi and othere blocked the main road near New Bus Stand in Malegaon for about half an hour demanding immediate action against the newspaper.
Joined by local MLA Asif Shaikh, the protesters then marched to Malegaon City Police Station where a case was booked against the Lokmat editor, and its artist and graphic designer who allegedly designed the blasphemous caricature.
Protests were also held in Dhule and Nandurbar where copies of the Lokmat Sunday Edition were burnt amid appeals of boycotting the North Maharashtra's leading Marathi daily. In Nandurbar, a case was registered under different section of IPC against the Lokmat editor.
Naeem Shaikh, Dhule unit chief of Samajwadi Party Minority Cell, directly complained to the Jalgaon office of Lokmat, and asked its resident editor Milind Kulkarni to publish apology in the newspaper's earliest issue.
The Lokmat Sunday Edition in an article written against Daesh (ISIS) also published a caricature, which the protseters said is blasphemous and insulting.
The protesters said every Muslim is against all kind of terrorist activities and condemn the Daesh killing, but insult of Prophet Mohammad to criticse Daesh will not be tolerated.
Malegaon Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sunil Kadasne meanwhile praised the peaceful protests of the people of Malegaon, and expressing concern over the publication of the blasphemous caricature said a notice would be sent to the newspaper as early as possible.