13-year-old boy killed as alleged blasphemy triggers violent protest in Balochistan

Published: May 4, 2017
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Residents of Lasbela protest against blasphemy incident in Hub on May 4, 2017. PHOTO: PPI

Residents of Lasbela protest against blasphemy incident in Hub on May 4, 2017. PHOTO: PPI

QUETTA/KARACHI: The Hub city of Lasbela district in Balochistan on Thursday witnessed violent protests followed by a shutter-down strike after an enraged mob besieged a police station to seek custody of a blasphemy suspect, who has already been shifted to jail.

The 35-year-old Hindu man was arrested on Wednesday by Hub city police after locals complained that he had allegedly sent blasphemous content via WhatsApp.   “The man was arrested after local people accused him of blasphemy,” SSP Lasbela Zia Mandokhel said.

He said the police lodged a case against the man on the complaint of various community members under Sections 295-A and 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code while a cell phone, from which the suspect had allegedly shared blasphemous content, was also seized.

He said a local court later sent the accused to Gaddani jail for interrogation.

Mob attacks man in Chitral for ‘blasphemy’

“At around 11 am on Thursday, a mob started gathering around Hub City police station and demanded custody of the accused,” he said.

Mandokhel said police and some Frontier Corps (FC) officials tried to persuade the mob that the accused had been shifted to the Gaddani jail on the orders of the court but they did not believe.

“We took four members of the mob inside the police station but even then they kept insisting on handing over of the accused to them.

“The enraged mob later started hurling stones at law enforcers who had to use tear gas and aerial firing to disperse the mob,” Mandokhel said, adding that the police also took 20 protesters into custody.

Nisar says no plan to book activists for blasphemy

He said as a result of the violence, SP Lasbela Jan Mohammad Khosa, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Tariq Mengal, some other officials and a rescue worker from Edhi were injured.

“A 13-year-old boy, Qudratullah Khan, son of Bismillah Khan, also sustained injury due to the protesters’ aerial firing. The child later succumbed to his injuries,” he added.

Mandokhel said the angry mob also blocked traffic – coming from or going to Karachi. This resulted in a huge gridlock. All the businesses were also shut down.

He said it was difficult to control the situation as the mob was being led by no one. “The situation is expected to remain under control as all religious parties have condemned such riots,” he added.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Arif Mohammed
    May 4, 2017 - 2:40PM

    Its a sick countryRecommend

  • vcbhutani
    May 4, 2017 - 4:08PM

    My name is Viney Chander Bhutani. I was born in 1939 to a Hindu family in Rawalpindi. In time I grew to become a complete agnostic, one who is indifferent to the question of the existence of God, or Allah, or Isvar, or Waheguru, or call him by any other name. I have no quarrel with those who believe in God. But they should leave me alone with my abstinence from belief in God. The question has been since time immemorial: Is there a God? My answer is: I don’t know. Which means there may be a God or there may not be a God. Great minds over the ages have not succeeded in settling the question. As a small man I cannot hope to determine the question. In all humility I acknowledge my inability to answer the question mentioned above. Does this amount to blasphemy under Pakistani laws? V. C. Bhutani, DelhiRecommend

  • Sexton
    May 4, 2017 - 5:31PM

    It would be easy to do a put down on Pakistan, and it would be deserved, but it is not alone when it comes to punishing free speech. Western countries pretend they have free speech, but in reality they do not. Most European countries send their citizens to prison if they question a specific part of history, This is not possible in America due to the Constitution, but they have other ways of punishing people such as losing ones job. Recommend

  • pls answer
    May 4, 2017 - 5:52PM

    I’m indian but I applaud local police. Don’t have access as to what will happen with this man in future but as of now, police have done its job. Hope fair trial will be given to this man & if he is innocent, he will be given due protection. But if he has breached local law then he is worthy of punishment.Recommend

  • vinsin
    May 4, 2017 - 7:56PM

    @vcbhutani:
    Yes that is blasphemy under Pakistani government which will make 5 schools of Hindu Philosophy out of 6 as illegals. Jains and Buddhists dont believe in GOD also. Recommend

  • I am a Khan
    May 4, 2017 - 9:15PM

    @vcbhutani:
    No what you said is not blasphemy per the law in Pakistan, because you have not said anything hurtful to any particular religion.
    Blasphemy law applies if someone tries to mock or disrespect any religion. Recommend

  • Zain
    May 5, 2017 - 12:20AM

    @vcbhutani:
    That is not blasphemy, but people in my country do not follow the law.. so you can guess what will happen?Recommend

  • Subash
    May 5, 2017 - 12:23AM

    @I am a Khan:
    Blasphemy law will be enforced or resorted to if someone tries to or allegedly tries to mock or disrespect Islam. The law will not be enforced even if someone publicly disrespects other religions.Recommend

  • Khwaja
    May 5, 2017 - 1:17AM

    @vcbhutani:
    Dear sir. Please do not be fooled by the law that prevails in my country now and the idiots who enforced it. The larger percentage of people wish people of other faiths well and advocate interfaith harmony. Unfortunately we have fostered illeteracy to use the masses for political reasons and these people sometimes get out of hands.

    The blasphemy law has never been exercised and never will be. The country will need to somehow manage to get out of this mess but no one knows how and when. Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    May 5, 2017 - 2:29AM

    @Sexton:
    As usual you are conveniently vague on which European countries can send a person to jail, along with for what crime! Recommend

  • Sam
    May 5, 2017 - 3:25AM

    But no such protests for lack of facilities or basic needs. Well done folks. Recommend

  • bajwa
    May 5, 2017 - 7:04AM

    The seeds of intolerance, sectarianism, hypocrisy, religious bigotry sown by Gen Zia-ul-haq and his regime have now grown into strong deep-rooted trees. And trees cannot be bent, they can only be cut. That is what we need to do with our society. Otherwise there is no hope. Recommend

  • Alien1
    May 5, 2017 - 7:07AM

    God save him from this inhumane thugs in pakistan.Recommend

  • Sexton
    May 5, 2017 - 10:43AM

    @numbersnumbers:
    Almost all of them, and you you know it.Recommend

  • Shahid
    May 5, 2017 - 11:24AM

    Well done Police for standing your ground. This mob should be arrested for attacking with the intention to lynch/kill a person.Recommend

  • Jammer
    May 5, 2017 - 11:54AM

    Mob mob mob. No law allows to become mob. Open the fire on mon and kill them all. We must set an example otherwise this is becoming an everyday story.Recommend

  • rama
    May 5, 2017 - 1:28PM

    @vcbhutani:

    yes, you can not question under Islam !!! Does this answer your question ?Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    May 6, 2017 - 1:31AM

    @Sexton:
    Notice how @Sexton is shy about backing up his vague allegations with facts!Recommend

  • Khwaja
    May 6, 2017 - 1:10PM

    @rama:
    What are you …an expert on world religions ? Go figure out how yours is practiced. Religions always are very accommodating, it’s the way they have been enforced makes them appear harsh.

    Get a grip, learn and promote coexistence….Rama.Recommend

  • Farooq Ahmed
    May 6, 2017 - 1:22PM

    Immature children have no business to be part of mobs and rallies, their parents should be held responsible for not supervising their activities.Recommend

  • Farru
    May 6, 2017 - 3:17PM

    The Police should take help from the Army and teach them a good lesson for taking the law into hands. Recommend

  • Ameer Qaisrani
    May 6, 2017 - 3:20PM

    Killing anyone in the name of Islam is actually equivalent to commit blasphemy as Islam teaches us to live peacefully and give due respect to all religions
    Love for all Hatred for noneRecommend

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