Policeman uses axe to kill blasphemy accused: officials

Published: November 6, 2014


PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE A common occurrence, police torture continues nationwide. PHOTO: ILLUSTRATION

LAHORE: A policeman used an axe to kill a man arrested for allegedly committing blasphemy, officials said Thursday, days after an enraged mob murdered a Christian couple accused of the same crime.

Tufail Haider, a 50-year-old member of the Shia sect, was arrested for allegedly making derogatory remarks toward the companions of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and brought to the Civil Lines police station in the eastern city of Gujrat on Wednesday.

“Tufail was kept in the lock-up but he continued uttering derogatory remarks and hurled abuse at policemen. He looked like a malang (wandering preacher) and seemed mentally imbalanced,” duty officer Ali Raza told AFP.

“Assistant Sub-Inspector Faraz Naveed, 36, became very angry on hearing the derogatory remarks against the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and he killed the detainee with an axe in the lock up,” he added.

Naveed has been arrested and legal proceedings have been started against him, he added.

Around 1,000 Shias have been killed in the past two years in Pakistan, a heavy toll on the community that makes up roughly 20 per cent of the country’s 180 million-strong population, most of whom are Muslim.

There has been a recent surge in extra-judicial killings linked to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

A Christian bonded labourer and his pregnant wife were killed Tuesday for alleged desecrating pages of the Holy Quran in the eastern village of Chak 59, sparking condemnation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

A Christian woman, Aasia Bibi, who has been on death row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of making derogatory remarks about Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) during an argument with a Muslim woman lost an appeal last month.

The latest incident also has shades of the shooting in September of an elderly British man with severe mental illness, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy in January.

An internal investigation has found that the guard had been radicalised and goaded into the shooting by Mumtaz Qadri, a police bodyguard who murdered the Punjab governor in 2011 for suggesting reform of the blasphemy laws.

In Gujrat alone, three persons have been killed on the account of police torture.

Just last month, an individual on a Rawalpindi-bound train was beaten to death by police after a fight broke out between him and another passenger.

While on October 4, police allegedly tortured a woman to death during a raid in Sargodha.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • waq
    Nov 6, 2014 - 10:39AM

    no wonder, India is ruled by Modi


  • pakistani
    Nov 6, 2014 - 10:53AM

    what logic is that?


  • wb
    Nov 6, 2014 - 11:10AM


    “no wonder, India is ruled by Modi.

    what logic is that?”

    Obviously when Gujarat was mentioned, he thought it was India and made some obscure connection with Modi.


  • Abdul
    Nov 6, 2014 - 11:11AM

    LOL that is called Pakistani logic. No wonder at the state of your country.


  • Libra
    Nov 6, 2014 - 11:13AM

    Gulloo Butt is sentenced. While top police officers who were patting him on breaking the cars are not apprehended. Those police officers were also enjoying the cold drinks from broken and looted shops. Where is the law and how police could be harnessed? When police officers of Model Town incident shall be apprehended and prosecuted?

    Such brutal and criminal acts of police shall continue till exemplary punishment is given to them through legal process, otherwise people may take law in their own hands.


  • ABKhan
    Nov 6, 2014 - 11:37AM

    Thank you Shahbaz shareef. Another gift from Punjab police


  • Waseem Sarwar
    Nov 6, 2014 - 12:41PM

    You do know that we have a huge city named Gujrat in Pakistan? Don’t make everyone look stupid.


  • AbdulHai
    Nov 6, 2014 - 12:52PM

    Wow… Must be fun to watch. Any link to video shot at that time? UNBELIEVABLE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN OUR SOCIETY. It was alway like that since 1947 but media attention is highlighting these cases more than before.


  • Nov 6, 2014 - 12:56PM

    Cases like this bacame an exmaple of the rascalism and open brutality and official should start a purge against these forces.


  • Nov 6, 2014 - 1:04PM

    these are we deserved for an open purge.


  • Mamu
    Nov 6, 2014 - 2:25PM

    Gullu Butt police in the making.


  • Parvez
    Nov 6, 2014 - 3:48PM

    ….and still this inept government will do nothing to amend the Law so that MISUSE of the blasphemy law is enacted. It is testament to the actual weakness of this government that despite such atrocities it stands paralysed and unwilling to do right.


  • rashid
    Nov 6, 2014 - 5:34PM

    According to Dawn Haider was arrested because he “wounded two people” and not on blasphemy charges. Later he got into an argument with the policeman and the policeman killed him and made up blasphemy charges.


  • hira
    Nov 6, 2014 - 5:36PM

    Can CM Punjab take some concrete steps to stop all this nonsense in the name of blasphemy rather than just condemning every other day. Majority of these type of incidents are happening in Punjab this means these acts are supported by Punjab Govt……………these 2 brothers ruling the country are curse to our nation;


  • Solomon2
    Nov 6, 2014 - 7:01PM

    I don’t believe this story. Why would there even be an axe in an interrogation room? It’s more likely someone told a sensational tale and the press lapped it up.


  • numbersnumbers
    Nov 6, 2014 - 9:25PM

    Or you are just spinning a tale of denial, hoping the readers will “lap it up”!!!!!


  • cautious
    Nov 6, 2014 - 9:57PM

    Just when you think it can’t get any worse you read an article like this.


  • Nov 7, 2014 - 12:16AM

    Need to do away with the blasphemy law, or at least reform it. The penalty and narrative gives cover to ideological violent people to take the laws into their own hands and kill anyone, including the mentally ill, on the slightest of accusation, true or not. Its also being manipulated for self gains, due to the accusations’ level of religiosity that makes it difficult to defend and dare oppose it.


  • Gp65
    Nov 7, 2014 - 1:59AM


    This happened in Gujarat, Pakistan.


  • Bablu
    Nov 7, 2014 - 3:26PM

    One of the blood relatives of the victim told me that Haider was mentally stable and the policemen are making up the case. The victim was a known Zakir from Jhang and used to travel to Karachi and other cities for majalis. Since, Jhang, Punjab has a known history of sectarian tensions, there must be some history behind this incident.

    Whatever the case, there are logical questions unanswered in this case:

    1) On what charges police detained Haider?
    2) Who called him to Gujrat for majalis, were they in loop when police detained the victim? Where is their version in the stories that all media broadcast or published yesterday?
    3) The police said the victim was arrested during a fight with someone. Who was man and what was the fight all about?
    4) Who brought Haider to the police station, SHO or the ASI who killed him. If ASI himself arrested him then there must be someone who might have wanted the ASI to eliminate Haider within the police custody?
    5) Except the name in the FIR, the whole story published in newspapers is based on the police version. Where is the version of the family? Are they afraid to speak to the media?


  • Heapologia
    Nov 7, 2014 - 9:19PM

    Blasphemy laws are inherently wrong. Number one, blasphemy is a crime committed against God and God alone. If He feels offended by the blasphemer, He’s more than capable of judging the blasphemer and punishing him or her without anyone’s help. Number two, Muhammad wasn’t God. He’s fair game for criticism, especially since he was a child-molesting bandit that plagiarized a bunch of perfectly normal religions and created some monstrous cult that has been responsible for 1,400 years of misery and death worldwide.

    There is no religious freedom if peaceful religious criticism is banned for any reason. Any member of any religion that can’t tolerate a little criticism and answer the critics’ arguments rationally, respectfully, and peacefully is socially unfit for life in the 21st Century.


  • Someone
    Nov 8, 2014 - 12:04AM

    No offense, first of all you need to learn to respect other religions and beliefs of other people if you want your religion and beliefs to be respected.
    I agree with you that these blasphemy laws either should not be implemented or if implemented then should be carried out with complete justice and honesty. I condemn this christian couple being killed by an angry mob and this person being killed by a police officer. Because such cases are to be handled by the courts and police. Which sadly in our country are not capable to handle such cases.
    On the other hand no one has the right to say bad things about ones beliefs and religion. If the christian couple actually did something then the investigation should have been done by the police force. No one has the right to insult others beliefs and similarly no one has the right to punish others for their actions except the law enforcing agencies.I respect other religions and their beliefs like Christianity and Hinduism etc. likes wise i want others to respect my religion too. Islam tells its followers to be tolerant towards other religions and Pakistan being an Islamic State has the right to protect the beliefs of its citizens.
    Actually this kind of freedom of speech makes a society unfit to live in. When anyone can criticize and say anything about a religion that is the point when people have no fear and start criticizing others, actually start insulting others on the bases of religion. From this rivalries occur. I agree that Non Muslims can ask questions and question any Islamic belief to know the logical reasoning behind it, not that they start uttering fouls words about Islam. I, being a muslim, question my parents and teachers about My Religion because i want to gain the logical reasoning that is behind that act. This is how you gain knowledge and this is absolutely acceptable. Similarly i issued a book about all the hundreds of gods and goddesses Hindus have, to gain knowledge and information about their religion.
    Living in an Islamic State you cannot utter foul words about Islam. And if any does utter foul words for Islam then the punishment is to be given by the police not by an angry mob or a mullah.
    I don’t want you to take any point mentioned by me personally or as offensive. Sorry if this comment offends you although it is just to clear my view towards your comment that actually offended me.


  • sab
    Nov 17, 2014 - 6:04PM

    The reason is clear, ask what you don’t know.
    But make sure the person you are asking from is related to that belief/subject.
    I am from the sect of Deoband/ASWJ, and my belief is as of the others from our sect.
    Be sure we only talk on the basic Islam, not on the sensitive most topics as we want everyone to be united, not divided.
    we stop others from doing what is forbidden and tell others to do what is obligatory. That’s it.


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