GUJRAT: A Christian man was on Monday booked on a blasphemy charge for sending through WhatsApp a message carrying alleged blasphemous content in Sarai Alamgir town.

The case was registered under Sections 295-C (Use of derogatory remarks etc in respect of the Holy Prophet) and 298-A (Use of derogatory remarks etc in respect of holy personages) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The administration dispatched a heavy contingent of police to Sarai Alamgir, throwing a security cordon around the town’s two churches and Yaqoobabad, a predominantly Christian residential area.

Sarai Alamgir, 160 kilometres north-west of Lahore, is a town in Gujrat district.

According to police, Yasir Basheer of Sarai Alamgir’s Majeedabad area complained late on Sunday night that he had received a WhatsApp message from the Christian man that carried a poem whose contents Basheer alleged were blasphemous. A reliable source, quoting residents of Yaqoobabad, told Dawn that the complainant and the suspect were close friends and were often seen together.

Senior officials of the administration, led by Liaquat Ali Chattha, the District Coordination Officer, and Kamran Mumtaz, the acting District Police Officer, held meetings with members of the Sarai Alamgir peace committee and representatives of the Christian community on Monday in an attempt to keep the situation under control.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2016