After an eight-year-old Hindu boy was charged with blasphemy, a Hindu family was thrashed and held hostage for fetching water from a mosque in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Reportedly in an incident from last week, Alam Ram Bheel was picking raw cotton along with his wife and other family members. When the family went to a nearby mosque to fetch some drinking water from a tap, they were thrashed by local landlords and their men.
While the Hindu family was returning home after unloading the cotton, they were picked up by the landlords and held hostage at an outhouse. Ram’s family was again subjected to torture for ‘violating the sanctity’ of the mosque.
The family was later rescued by some local residents.
Police refused to register a case
Ram who held a sit-in outside the police station claimed that the police initially refused to register his case as the perpetrators were related to a local Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentarian.
PTI’s south Punjab minority wing secretary-general Yodhister Chohan also dusted his hands off the incident saying he preferred to stay away due to the influence of a ruling party MP.
However, the police finally registered a case under sections 506, 154, 379, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code. Deputy Commissioner Dr Khuram Shehzad said he would first meet the elders of the Hindu community on Monday before taking any action.
Minor boy charged with blasphemy
The minority Hindu community with a population of just 75 lakhs in Pakistan is subjected to regular persecution. In the month of August, an eight-year-old Hindu boy was booked under charges of blasphemy. He was charged for the crime after he was accused to have urinated on the carpet of a Madarsa.
The boy had been taken into ‘protective custody’ following the incident and he had spent a week in jail before receiving bail. His family has gone into hiding following retribution.