Hindu man faces blasphemy charges in Pakistan: Report

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HYDERABAD: Over a personal clash with a local resident in Pakistan’s Hyderabad, a man, belonging to minority Hindu community, was reportedly booked in a fake case of blasphemy on Sunday, several media reports said.
“Hyderabad police dispersed a violent mob which was demanding handing over a Hindu sanitary worker accusing him of #blasphemy Police claims the sanitary worker was targeted because of a personal clash with a local resident,” said Mubashir Zaidi in a Tweet.
The man was identified as Ashok Kumar who was a sweeper, lodged at Rabia centre in Saddar of Hyderabad in Pakistan and was severely attacked by a violent mob.
Taking to Twitter, South-Asian Correspondent, Naila Inayat tweeted, “Hindu sanitary worker Ashok Kumar booked under 295B of blasphemy over alleged desecration of the Quran in Hyderabad. The allegation came after a brawl with shopkeeper Bilal Abbasi who then lodged the complaint against Kumar.”

Hyderabad police dispersed the agitated mob which was demanding handing over of the Hindu sanitary worker for desecrecation of the Quran. However, it was actually a Muslim woman who had burned the Islamist book, as per local media.
The misuse of the draconian blasphemy laws against minorities and even members of the Muslim community to settle personal grudges is rampant in Pakistan.
Many people have been lynched to death in Pakistan on the mere accusation of blasphemy. Countless others languish in jails for years with no hope of getting justice as the lawyers, fearing for their own lives, refuse to defend them.
Judges in the lower courts routinely hand the accused the ultimate penalty of death without examining the evidence.
Notably, Pakistan reported a total of 1,415 cases of blasphemy in the country since 1947, a think tank, the Centre for Research and Security Studies, said.
According to the think tank report, a total of 18 women and 71 men were extra-judicially killed over blasphemy from 1947 to 2021. However, as per the think tank, the actual number of cases is believed to be higher as not all cases are reported.
As per another report, in the year 2021, Muslims made up the largest chunk of people accused of blasphemy, followed by Ahmadis, Hindus and Christians. The report suggested that the issues of ‘unverified and speculative accusations’ of blasphemy have increased over the years.
Because of these issues, the incidents of lynching and extrajudicial settlements have deepened in the South-Asian country.



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Date: August 22, 2022