KASUR: Saddar police on Tuesday registered a blasphemy case against seven people, arresting one of them, after they were accused of burning pages of the Holy Quran at Hariher village, some six kilometres from here.
The case was lodged under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code against seven nominated suspects for allegedly burning the pages of the holy book near the village graveyard on Monday evening on the complaint of Muhammad Shakeel.
The locals tortured the suspects who were rescued and taken into custody by police.
District Police Officer Shahzad Asif, on being informed of the incident, involved the members of the district peace committee in the matter, who delivered speeches to calm down the enraged people and helped police in getting custody of the suspects from them.
According to the complainant, he was crossing the village graveyard along with two others -- Munir Ismail and Shabbir Sharif -- when he saw a fire on its other end.
He said they rushed to the spot and saw that the prime suspect was burning a large quantity of “holy pages”. He said when they tried to stop the suspect, he snubbed them harshly.
The complainant said when they raised hue and cry, locals gathered there and started beating the suspect. He said the six others nominated in the FIR tried to rescue the prime suspect from the mob, saying he was burning the holy pages with their consent.
On being informed of the incident, the police arrived at the spot and tried to pacify the locals but the mob refused to handover the prime suspect to them.
Given the sensitivity of the situation, the DPO contacted some of the members of the district peace committee, including Maulana Shabbir Ahmed, and requested them to pacify the mob.
The Maulana, other members of the committee and police officers reached the spot and delivered speeches to convince the mob to handover the suspect to police. On being assured that justice would be done, the locals handed the prime suspect over to police.
According to a senior police official, who sought anonymity, the prime suspect belonged to a local religious family whose members have been collecting the wasted holy pages from the boxes they had installed at different places for their storage and disposing them of since long to avoid their desecration.
He said the whole episode might be a result of some misunderstanding and the police were probing it.
According to the DPO, the situation was “completely under control” and police were looking into the matter from various angles.
GUTTED: At least six makeshifts huts of gypsies were gutted on Tuesday in Jamatpura locality in the limits of B-Division police station.
According to Rescue 1122, the huts made of mud and straws suddenly caught fire that was extinguished after about half an hour. There was no loss of life.
Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2019