Blasphemy prosecution: Barelvi activists protest ‘high-handed’ bid by police to foil rally

Complainant claims police raided his house.


Rana Tanveer July 22, 2011

LAHORE:


Policemen from Ghaziabad and Mughalpura stations baton charged some 300 protesters from the Barelvi sect in front of the Lahore Press Club on Friday.


Main Attiqur Rehman, a property dealer who has accused a business rival of blasphemy, claimed that the police had tried to arrest him in the moving to halt a protest scheduled for after Friday prayers.  The protesters rallied in front of the club to condemn the raid and police for not registering a blasphemy case following Rehman’s complaint.

Rehman said that the police entered his house to arrest him but later left after people gathered outside the house and shouted at the police.  He said on June 19, Haji Nasir Hussain a resident of Canal Park, Singhpura, had organised a majlis, where one of the speakers, Zulfiqar Haider Naqvi, uttered blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

He said the next day he filed an application with the Ghaziabad police station against Hussain and Naqvi and demanded an FIR under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code.

He said when the police refused to register the FIR, he went to the court and obtained an order from Additional District and Sessions Judge Mahrukh Aziz Tarar in this regard. He said that despite the court order, SHO Adnan Sheikh refused to register an FIR. He said he gave the police till Thursday to comply with court order otherwise he would lead a protest demonstration on Friday after the prayers.

He said a police team headed by DSP Mian Absar Ahmad had raided his house only to halt the protest.

After Friday prayers, the Idara Sirat-i-Mustaqeem, Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, Sunni Tehrik and Ulema Ahle Sunnat activists gathered at his house and marched to Lahore Press Club. Some 30 policemen from two police stations “tried to thwart the protest”, Rehman said.

Rehman warned of more protests if an FIR was not registered. “I would prefer death to seeing a blasphemer go unpunished,” he said.

DSP Ahmad denied raiding Rehman’s house. He said however, the court had not ordered registration of an FIR. It had only ordered the police to investigate the matter.

Haji Hussain said that the speakers had not made any blasphemous remarks. He said he and Rehman were businesses rivals and that was the only reason Rehman had accused him of blasphemy.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.

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COMMENTS (14)

akram | 9 years ago | Reply The fair name of Islam has recently been darkened by the murderous directive issued by certain Muslim leaders and endorsed by their supporters. This is not an offence for which the death penalty is prescribed by Islam. Not at all. No such instruction is contained in the holy Quran and it is a significant point to bear in mind that not one protagonist has quoted a single verse from the Holy Quran as a basis of authority. No Prophet of God was more blasphemed, maligned, insulted and abused during his life-time than the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. He and his faithful followers were subjected to every kind of verbal invective and physical harrassment. He was forced to migrate from Mecca to Medina due to the severity of persecution by the Meccans. Ten years later he returned to Mecca with ten thousand followers who could have taken the town by storm but the Holy Prophetsaw forbade any bloodshed. Much to the amazement of the Meccans he forgave them their cruel enormities and this was his general attitude throughout his life towards his enemies and blasphemous opponents. All Muslims look upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, as a perfect exemplar for mankind and they would do well to be moved and guided by his noble example. Voices have also been raised that Salman Taseer is an apostate from Islam for which the punishment is death. We hasten to state that not only is no such punishment for apostasy prescribed in the Holy Quran Islam recognizes the right of freedom of conscience and freedom of belief and that as far as one's religious belief is concerned one is answerable to God alone. No man has the right to punish another for his choice of belief. There is absolutely no compulsion whatsoever in Islam and no punishment of any kind permitted in the Holy Quran for apostasy. Human rights are laid own in the Holy Quran which guarantee man the right of perfect freedom of faith and conscience. In such matters God is the Judge - not man. Our constant prayer is Guide us on the Right Path. - Amen.
Abdul | 9 years ago | Reply all these people asking for, which the police is not registering an FIR that tells you the government is not serious sometimes about gustakhi law. Some of you people need to know Islam before you speak thanks.
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