Pakistan: Christian Family Accused of Blasphemy Leaves Village

M Zulqernain/Lahore
Pakistan: Christian Family Accused of Blasphemy Leaves Village
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

A Christian man in Pakistan's Punjab province, who allegedly watched anti-Islamic lectures on his mobile phone has been accused of blasphemy, forcing him and his family to flee from their village.

Imran Masih, a sweeper in a health centre in Mandi Bahauddin, some 250 kilometers from Lahore, and his family members fleed from their village to save their lives after being accused of blasphemy, Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra, a Christian leader and chairman of Human Liberation Commission Pakistan said.

"Tension is rising in the area where some 25 Christian families are residing and they feeling vulnerable. We have requested police to provide security to the Christian families," he said.    

Sahotra said Iftikhar, a colleague of Imran Masih had watched a blasphemous video clip on his cell phone. 

He said Iftikhar and other Muslims subjected Masih to severe torture.

The local cleric declared Masih a blasphemer, forcing which he had to flee along with his family members to save their lives, Sahotra said.

He said the other members of Christian community in the village are also facing threats.

Police chief of Mandi Bahauddin Raja Basharat said the situation in the area is under control.

"Police personnel have been deployed in the village to stop any untoward incident," he said adding that the police had not registered a blasphemy case against Masih.

"We have asked complainants to first present the cell phone of Masih. A case cannot be registered without examining the 'blasphemous' clip", he said.

Blasphemy carries the death penalty and is an extremely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where people generally from the minority community have been targeted under the controversial law.

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