Blasphemy allegations: Lahore school principal released on bail

By AFP
Published: November 14, 2012
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Students of Farooqi Girls' High School wave placards as they stage a protest in Lahore on November 3, 2012, demanding the re-opening of their school. PHOTO: AFP

Students of Farooqi Girls' High School wave placards as they stage a protest in Lahore on November 3, 2012, demanding the re-opening of their school. PHOTO: AFP

Students of Farooqi Girls' High School wave placards as they stage a protest in Lahore on November 3, 2012, demanding the re-opening of their school. PHOTO: AFP A policeman stands next to wreckage of a burnt out a car at a school that was set fire by an angry mob, following a protest alleging the school gave a test that insulted the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), in Lahore on November 2, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: A headteacher caught in a blasphemy row over a piece of homework allegedly containing derogatory references to the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) was Wednesday released on bail, his lawyer said.

Asim Farooqi, 77, of Farooqi Girls’ High School, was released after the Lahore High Court granted him bail against a Rs200,000 surety, his lawyer Jawad Ashraf told AFP.

A lower court had early this month refused bail and remanded Farooqi in custody for 14 days on charges of blasphemy despite arguments he had no direct part in the case.

A teacher, Arfa Iftikhar, was forced into hiding after a furious mob stormed the school in the eastern city of Lahore over a piece of homework she set. Police are still searching for her.

The school management had subsequently published front page adverts in two leading newspapers after the incident to deny any knowledge of the alleged insults, saying Iftikhar distributed the work just 10 minutes before the school closed for the Eidul Azha holiday.

Activists say Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws are often abused to settle personal scores, and Ashraf said the possibility of a conspiracy against the school, one of the most successful in Lahore, could not be ruled out.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • aahmed
    Nov 14, 2012 - 11:07PM

    Why not use police to find real criminals ?

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  • gp65
    Nov 14, 2012 - 11:12PM

    I hope the case against this Principal who is doing the noble task of providing high quality education to girls at a very affordable cost is found to be not maintainable and dismissed outright.

    Recommend

  • Naseem Islam
    Nov 14, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Here we go again. For God sake repeal this draconian law.

    Recommend

  • Khurram
    Nov 15, 2012 - 12:14AM

    Believe me I have met Arabs, Turks and almost all Muslims of the world. Pakistanis should come out of this cloak of religion and just visit Arab states and everyone Spits at so called Islamic Brotherhood and people from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are modern day slaves of Arabs. Once in front of me One Arab Sheikh spit at Afghan Laborer and he could not do anything as Arab Sheikh threatened him to be deported. Also no one associate with Religion at all anywhere even in Pakistan but all of the people associate with Culture and language first than any other thing and Islamic nation is a myth and we should understand that.
    It is my request to Pakistani Muslims to stop this Islamic Thekedaari for good and consider everyone as equal and stop waiting for the Messiah and you are not the chosen ones at all by God and you were enslaved and forced to be converted in the past and still you are Khandan e Ghulaman what Arabs used to tell you and nothing else.
    The war of Religion will not get you anywhere and ultimately Whole Pakistan will be at the receiving end.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Nov 15, 2012 - 1:06AM

    What ever happened to the child with downs syndrome who was falsely accused by an Imam – that story deserves some follow up.

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  • Earij
    Nov 15, 2012 - 1:22AM

    The law is good. Its abuse needs to be severely punished though. That is all.

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  • Nitin Gandhi
    Nov 15, 2012 - 2:50AM

    keep it up , countries like Pakistan does not need to be destroyed by bomd or any ammunition.
    they already have lots self claimed intellectuals and Religious Thekedaar to destroy them.

    Recommend

  • Zainab
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:21AM

    Sick. The blasphemy laws are useless as they target innocents. The people who attacked a school committed the real blasphemy and should be arrested!!

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  • Fazal karim
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:22AM

    Voice of the time, GET MATURED PAKISTAN !

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  • Reader
    Nov 15, 2012 - 6:35AM

    I think its funny how selective Tribune is in their approval of comments. An Indian can post all sorts of anti-Pakistan comments but when a Pakistani tries to admit his country’s faults along with a ‘what should we do’ they don’t approve. Typical manipulative Pakistani media. Recommend

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