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Pakistani student and teacher accused of blasphemy

  • Published at 07:03 pm October 14th, 2016
Pakistani student and teacher accused of blasphemy

Kot Radha Kishan police on Thursday arrested a religious teacher and his student on blasphemy charges. According to FIR, the complainant, Muhammad Imtiaz, of Marali Ottar village, Kot Radha Kishan, alleged he saw a local teenager burning some torn pages of the Holy Quran in a street.

It said that on being admonished by the complainant for his act, the youth insisted that the appropriate way to dispose of damaged pages of the Holy Quran was to burn and then bury these. To decide the matter, the FIR said, the teen called prayer leader of a local mosque, also his teacher, who too backed his student’s stance and allegedly cited a Hadith to support his claim.

When the complainant brought the matter to the knowledge of a so-called faith-healer (peer), he advised him to report it to police. On receiving the information, the police arrived at the spot and arrested the youth and the prayer leader.

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The police have entered a case under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against both the suspects.

Holy Quran is believed by Muslims to be the word of God spoken through the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) directly to mankind. For that reason the words themselves are held sacred, meaning Muslims must dispose of their old Quran with great respect.

Religious scholars approve of two ways: by wrapping the book carefully in a cloth and burying it in the ground, or placing it in flowing water so the ink is washed away from the pages.

Any disrespect to the Quran is punishable with life imprisonment under the Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Such disrespect could also spark mob violence, an angry mob torched a factory in Punjab province in November 2015 after one of its employees was accused of burning pages from the Quran in the boiler.

The case emerged one day after Pakistan's Supreme Court delayed an appeal against the death sentence meted out to a Christian woman in 2010 for blasphemy.

Asia Bibi was accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), punishable by death under the blasphemy laws, in a notorious case that has seen rights groups and the Vatican call for her release. Her final court appeal was due to be held Thursday in Islamabad, but was delayed after one of the three-judge bench claimed he had a conflict of interest. No new date has been set.

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