CHINIOT: Chenab Nagar police have registered a case against five Ahmadia community members under blasphemy charges and arrested one of them on Saturday night for publishing and distributing an ‘altered’ version of Quran’s Urdu translation.

The alleged desecration of the holy book took place some four years ago but the first information report was lodged against the printer, publisher, author, composer, proof reader and some other unknown facilitators under sections 295-B, 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 9-1 of the Punjab Holy Quran (Printing and Recording) Act, 2011 now.

According to complainant Muhammad Hassan Moawia, secretary general of Tahafuz Khatme Nabuwat Forum Pakistan, he has been striving since long for getting the altered translation of the Holy Quran blocked.

He also filed a writ petition with the Lahore High Court which directed all the institutions concerned to take action against such publishers in its March 2019 order.

He said during an annual ceremony of Madressatul Hifz, Ayesha Academy, Chenab Nagar, on March 7, 2019, the suspects distributed ‘altered’ translation version of the book among children.

“The ceremony was held on the lawns of Nusrat Jehan College for Woman where 62 boys and girls were given copies of altered version which was a clear violation of relevant laws,” the FIR added.

He said the altered version had also been banned by the Punjab home department in 2016. The Chenab Nagar police received an e-mail from the Chiniot DPO office having an attachment of Hassan Moawia’s application and a letter from Umar Draz, Secretary, Punjab Quran Board, Lahore, regarding action against the nominated and unknown accused.

The mail ordered registration of the FIR and subsequent investigation.

After learning about the case, scores of Ahmadia community members reached the police station and lodged a protest against the FIR and the arrest of their member. As a result, traffic on the Chiniot-Sargodha Road remained blocked for several hours.

The action was lauded by local clerics whereas a spokesperson of Jamat Ahmadia termed it another bid to implicate their members in fabricated cases across the country. He said the Jamat believed in rule of law and would go into a constitutional struggle.

Applicant Hassan Moawia said the case was a first step towards elimination of altered versions of the Holy Quran.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2023

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