Indians hold protests against US, seek revenge for Qassem Soleimani

indica News Bureau-

A large group of people held a protest near the United States embassy in New Delhi on Jan 7 over the killing of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike in Baghdad last week. Initially the protesters wanted to  protest march to end outside the US Embassy, but it was stopped halfway by the authorities for security reasons. However, the demonstrators gathered at the street carrying the posters of Soleimani and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and raising slogans of ‘Down with America and Israel’. 

The killing of Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike has plunged the Middle East into turmoil. According to report published by India Today, the protests were led by prominent Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad Naqvi, and Mehmood Pracha.

The killing of Qassem Soleimani has evoked protests and demonstrations against the US across the globe, particularly in countries with Shia populations. With India having a substantial number of Shia community members as its citizens, the MEA is looking at the sensitivity of the increasing tensions between the US and Iran. 

This also comes at a time when Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is due to visit India for the Raisina Dialogue, where he is likely to take the stage and the opportunity to hit out at America.

In Delhi, the protesters were equipped with a red flags. “In ancient times, when tribes would go to war and the leader of one of the tribes was killed then that tribe would raise a red flag declaring war against the killers of their chief. This red flag signifies our demand for revenge against America,” a protester explained. 

Apart from the national capital, some other parts of country also witnessed such protests. A similar protest was organized at Kargil district in Laddakh. The protest-march started from Imam Bada Chiktan and culminated at Police Post Chiktan Kargil where the protesters raised slogans including ‘Down With America, Down With Israel’ and ‘Solidarity with General Qasim Soliemani’. Kashmiri Shia cleric Mohd. Aga Syed Mohd Mosavi, who was part of the protest, strongly criticized the US for the killing of General Qasim Soliemani and expressed solidarity with Iran. 

In a protest in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, protesters urged Indian president Ram Nath Kovid to take action against those news channels who portrayed General Qasim Soliemani as terrorist. “We have faxed a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind seeking action against a TV news channel which projected General Qasem Soleimani as a terrorist’,” said a group of Shia protesters. 

A group of Shia Muslims in Lucknow also staged protest against the US strike.