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Pak applies blasphemy laws on Muslim protesters

world Updated: Oct 01, 2012 01:23 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times

Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws were applied for the first time on Muslim protesters who destroyed a Hindu temple in Karachi last week, reports The Express Tribune, an English language daily.

Section 295-A is the lesser known, non Islam-specific clause of the country's notorious blasphemy law. This relates to "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs."

The Shri Krishna Bhagwan Mandir located in the Gulshan-e-Maymar area of Karachi was vandalised by a mob rallying against the anti-Islam film 'Innocence of Muslims'.

The protesters also ransacked nearby houses where members of the Hindu community reside and looted jewellery and other valuables.

The Express Tribune reports that police registered a case using 295-A along with other charges of looting, vandalism and theft, against the protesters. Nine people have been named in the FIR although no one has been arrested so far.

While no one has been arrested so far because the accused are on the run, security has been beefed up in the Hindu locality.

The scene in the temple is one of mindless destruction. Too devastated to pick up the smashed pieces, its caretaker Maharaj Sunda cried, "I devoted my life to serve the gods, and seeing them like this makes me wish for death."

When the attack took place at 8:30 am, the Maharaj was tending to animals near the temple. Frightened screams from within the temple brought him running back.

When he entered the temple, a scene of chaos greeted him. Six statues were destroyed. An infuriated mob of 150 people, carrying rocks and sticks, had barged in chanting 'Allah hu Akbar', and took away gold adornments from the four-foot statues before smashing them to the ground.