LAHORE: A Christian was booked for blasphemy on Monday in Sara-i-Alamgir area of Gujrat district after his friend alleged that he had sent him a poem on WhatsApp disrespecting Islamic holy figures.

“Yasir Bashir filed a complaint against his friend Nadeem James for sending a poem on WhatsApp that was derogatory about holy figures,” police sources said.

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Nadeem under the Blasphemy Law (clause 295-C and 298-A of the Pakistan Penal Code).

According to the police, Nadeem was on the run and his relatives were taken into “protective custody”.

There was increased security in Christian neighbourhoods in the town because of tension arising after Yasir’s complaint.

In the past, such allegations have often triggered beatings and mob violence in the country.

A Christian couple were lynched then burnt in a kiln in Punjab in 2014 after being falsely accused of desecrating the Holy Quran.

Rights campaigners say blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal disputes.

— Additional reporting by AFP

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