A court here on Monday issued a notice to the Pakistan Punjab government on a bail petition filed by a former president of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), who is facing a blasphemy case for an attack on a gurdwara in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak.
Police had registered a case against former PSGPC president Sardar Mastan Singh and his 25 accomplices, mostly Sikhs, for allegedly attacking a gurdwara and chanting anti-state slogans on the complaint of PSGPC incumbent president Sardar Sham Singh.
The counsel for Mastan Singh on Monday told the Lahore high court that Sham Singh had got a false blasphemy case registered against his client and others.
He said Evacuee Trust Property Board head Siddiqul Farooq and Sham Singh had joined hands with the land mafia and illegally sold land belonging to the Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, to a housing scheme.
“Sham Singh, at Farooq’s behest, got a false case registered against his client and others to stop them from raising their voice against illegal selling of the land,” he said, pleading the court to release Mastan Singh on bail.
The high court division bench headed by justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu adjourned the court till Tuesday to seek replies from the provincial government and the prosecution department.
Mastan Singh, who is in jail on judicial remand, had on November 25, during the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, allegedly gheraoed Farooq along with his fellow community members and protested against not being permitted to take out a rally in Nankana Sahib, about 80km from Lahore.
Later, an FIR was registered under sections 295-A (blasphemy), 123-A (anti-state slogans), 440, 506, 186 and 147 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) against Mastan Singh and 25 others.