JHANG: The Kotwali police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) under Section 295/A of the Pakistan Penal Code (blasphemy law) against eight nominated and 60 unknown members of the District Bar Association here on Monday.

A couple of days ago, on the orders of the Kotwali district police officer, the police had registered a criminal case against Kotwali Station House Officer Umar Daraz, ASI Mubashir and five other policemen for thrashing and keeping a lawyer Aftab Nadeem in illegal detention. When the police did not arrest the nominated accused police officials, the DBA members went on strike till the arrest of the SHO and his subordinates.

On the third day of the lawyers’ protest Arshad Mahmood, a resident of Basti Attawali, Jhang Sadar, through an application informed the police that during the protest some lawyers had shouted slogans with the name of SHO Umar Daraz and the mention of the name Umar had hurt the applicant’s religious emotions.

The Kotwali police lodged an FIR (No 294/14) against eight nominated and 60 unnamed lawyers under Section 295/A of the PPC.

Sources said it was an exceptional FIR in which the lawyers who were protesting against the police highhandedness were booked under blasphemy law. The issue would be taken up by Punjab and Pakistan Bar Councils.

Some DBA members alleged SHO Rana Umer Daraz belonged to Faisalabad and was a relative of a prominent Punjab minister. They alleged the police registered the case against the lawyers as a counter to the FIR against the SHO.

District Police Officer Zeeshan Asghar was not available for a comment on the issue.

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