New Delhi: A protest in Delhi against the Pope's controversial comments on Islam and Prophet Mohammad turned ugly on Friday evening when those protesting turned against each other.
In the ensuing melee – protestors hurled bulbs and bottles at each other - Delhi Assembly's Deputy Speaker Shoaib Iqbal was also attacked.
Iqbal had lashed out against Jama Masjid Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari.
Soon, the Friday prayer gathering turned into a duel between Imam's army and Iqbal's supporters.
“He is a cheat and only thinks of money," Iqbal said.
Hours after issuing that statement, he was gasping for breath at a Delhi hospital for haiving said too much in the Imam's territory and annoying his already pumped up supporters who felt the speakers presence at the Jama Masjid undermined the Imam's authority.
“Imam's goons said how can you raise slogans against the Pope here. This is our territory and you can’t speak at your will. This area belongs to the Imam," said an Iqbal Supporter, Mehrajjudin Majjo.
Friday evening's incident ended up polarising a community that had gathered there after the prayers for protesting the Pope's comments. "They were all the Imam's goons who hurled things at us," said one,
Doctors say Iqbal is out of danger, but his PSO is believed to be severely injured.
With two groups protesting for the same cause, ending up fighting against each other - right outside one of the biggest places of worship - it will be interesting to see how the deputy speaker reacts to this entire incident once he's back in shape.