Police arrest Pakistani Christian boy for alleged blasphemy against the Prophet
A Pakistani Christian man has been arrested after allegations were made that he made blasphemous remarks against the Prophet.
After arrested Shahzad Masih, 16, from Kharian, Gujrant police also registered a case against him under blasphemy section 295C. Shahzad is the elder son who has two younger brothers and a sister.
He was then moved to an undisclosed location due to fears that people from the local area led by religious groups might attack the police station.
Nadeem Ahmed, the owner of an electric shop in Dinga town, filed a complaint with the police that a friend of his told him that Shahzad, who worked as a sweeper at a private hospital, had uttered derogatory remarks against the holy Prophet.
Nadeem claimed that when he spoke to the Shahzad to verify the allegation, he repeated the remarks.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws dictate that anyone accused of making insulting remarks against religious figures could be handed a death sentence. This law is often abused by some people involved in personal disputes.
Just last month, a Christian bicycle mechanic Ashfaq Masih from Green Town, Lahore was accused of breaking Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws after an argument with a customer over payment.
He had repaired a bicycle for local resident Muhammad Ishtiaq. However when he asked Ishtiaq to pay the bill, the man responded by saying that he was a Sadhu (an ascetic holy man, usually associated with Hinduism and Jainism) and asked for the bill to be reduced. Ashfaq refused to do this, saying he did not follow anyone other than Jesus, and so wasn’t interested in the man’s religious status.
A crowd gathered around and as the arguments intensified one of the gathered crowd levelled an allegation of blasphemy against Ashfaq, and the police were summoned. Mr Masih was arrested and later on sent to jail.
The Police inspector of Green Town police station has confirmed that a blasphemy case has been registered against Masih on June 15 following his arrest. No date has yet been set for the trial.
Blasphemy against Islam or the Holy Prophet is a very sensitive issue in Pakistan and those accused of it become easy targets for extremists.