Large groups of Shia protesters on Sunday took to the streets in Srinagar and Lucknow against the execution of top Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia.
Hundreds took out a procession at Saidakadal in Srinagar, protesting against the Saudi Arabian government for carrying out the execution. Holding black flags and pictures of the cleric, the protesters tried to march towards city centre.
Clashes broke out when police tried to stop them, which continued for several hours.
Nimr al-Nimr was among 47 people executed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Protests against execution also erupted in other parts of the valley, like central Kashmir’s Budgam district which has a sizeable Shia population.
In Lucknow, Shias led by Imam-e-Juma Maulana Kalbe Jawwad took out a march in old city and torched the effigy of Saudi government. Jawwad appealed to both Sunnis and Shias to boycott Saudi Arabia, alleging that it is a nursery of terrorism.
“These people (Saudi Arabia) are killing both Shias and Sunnis so both the communities should unite and boycott them socially,” Jawwad alleged. He appealed to both Shias and Sunnis to protest by sending emails to Saudi Embassy, UN and Human Rights Commission.
Sunni cleric Maulana Hasnain Baqai who attended the protest said: “One Shia cleric was hanged just because he was raising voice for minorities’ rights and sheltering of terrorism by Saudi Arabia.”
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