President of Bengal Imams Association Md Yahia.

Kolkata: An association of Muslim clerics has urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to grant permission to any more rallies to protest against controversial comments on Prophet Mohammad, contending that people cannot be held to ransom by violence.

The Bengal Imams Association also asked members of the community not to fall into the traps of vested interests and indulge in violence.

President of the association Md Yahia said in a video statement that violence, arson, attacking properties and police personnel by a section of minority community members in the name of agitation have hurt the economy, and caused great hardships to the general public.

“While the comments of Nupur Sharma and another BJP leader are unacceptable and we are awaiting administrative action, we cannot hold people of the state to ransom by violent protests that are taking place in pockets of Howrah, Murshidabad and Nadia districts, he said on Sunday.

“Setting on fire properties, pelting the police with stones and being lathi-charged by the police cannot boost the image of a devoutly religious man or his icon,” Yahia said.

Yahia had last week called for protests inside mosques across the state, demanding the arrest of the two suspended BJP functionaries, but said the administration is free to take action against people who are blocking roads and inconveniencing the public.

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