Saturday, February 20, 2010 | 'Smoking' Jesus Protests: From Meghalaya to Majitha

    • Motor cycles of Christen community burnt by local shopkeepers and residents in Majitha town near Amritsar, Punjab.
    • Shillong
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    • An indefinite curfew is imposed in the Punjab town of Batala on Saturday after tension prevailed following the publication of a poster depicting Jesus Christ in an objectionable manner. Clashes also broke out as some members of the Christian community forced shopkeepers to down shutters.

      The curfew was imposed after members of the Christian community came to know about the poster, depicting Jesus Christ holding a beer can in one hand and what appeared to be either a cigarette or a chicken leg in the other. 

      They started gathering in the town and forced the shopkeepers to close their shops, leading to clashes. The police intervened when they tried to burn a few buildings. 

      Batala, 40 km from Amritsar, has a sizeable Christian population and several leading schools and other institutions have been run by the community for the past several decades. 

    • "The printing press in which the controversial poster was printed had been sealed and a case has been registered against the accused at the police station in Jalandhar's Division No. 4.
    • Pictures of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette in one hand and a beer can in the other in a book for primary classes triggered a row in Meghalaya Friday. The objectionable pictures were found in the cursive writing exercise books at a school in Shillong. 

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