Khushab district police officer has sought assistance from the Muttahida Ulema Board Punjab in a blasphemy case against two Shia clerics.
The particulars of the FIR, a compact disc with recordings of allegedly blasphemous lectures by a Shia zakir and the legal opinion of the district public prosecutor have been sent to the board, Ghulam Murtaza, personal staff officer to the DPO, told The Express Tribune.
Murtaza said the matter was referred to the board to ensure that the prosecution was in accordance with the law.
The DPO’s reader said that in his written opinion the district public prosecutor had supported the insertion of Section 295 C (use of derogatory remarks, etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet) of the Pakistan Penal Code in the FIR registered on March 15 against Gorot resident Shuja Abbas and Multan resident Nasir Multani.
Murtaza said the public prosecutor’s opinion was sought after complainant Muhammad Arif and his supporters in the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jammat (ASWJ) staged protests and demanded the inclusion of the section in the FIR.
He said Multani was accused of blaspheming against the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in a sermon he delivered in Gorot tehsil of Khushab on March 5. He is to be tried under Sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting Its religion or religious beliefs) and 298 A (use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages)of the PPC.
Abbas, who organised the majlis, had been arrested by Noorpur Thal police and sent to the jail on a judicial remand. Abbas is being tried under Section 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment) of the PPC.
Meanwhile, Civil Judge Rai Afzal Kharal has rejected two bail applications filed by the suspect. In his pleas for bail, the suspect said he neither had any knowledge about the content of the sermon nor was he involved in selection of the material. He said he was only concerned with the arrangements at the majlis.
Complainant Arif had stated in the FIR that he heard Multani passing derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (pbuh) while passing by the venue of the majlis. Later, he said, he listened to a recording of Multani’s sermons and found him disrespecting the Holy Prophet (pbuh) over there as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.
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