Hindu man arrested in Pakistan for sharing ‘blasphemous’ content on WhatsApp
A Hindu businessman has been arrested in Pakistan’s southern Balochistan province for allegedly sharing blasphemous content on WhatsApp, the latest in a string of instances of members of minorities facing such charges.
Violence erupted after Prakash Kumar, 35, was arrested at Hub in Lasbela district on Wednesday. Police acted after local residents complained he allegedly shared blasphemous content on WhatsApp.
A mob pelted stones at police when they refused to hand over Kumar so that people could “administer justice themselves and punish” him, Dawn News channel reported. Several police officials were injured during the protest.
Police dispersed the mob by using teargas and firing in the air. Twenty protesters were taken into custody and a search operation was conducted to arrest those suspected of inciting the mob, officials said.
People in Hub also shut their shops and offices to protest against the incident. The violence erupted when protesters organised a demonstration outside a police station in Hub and demanded the closure of the shop owned by Kumar, The Express Tribune reported.
Shops owned by Hindus were shut down and roads connecting Sindh province to Balochistan were closed for the police operation.
“Prakash, (the son of) Prem Chand has been arrested after local people accused him of blasphemy,” police official Zia Mandokhel said. A case was lodged and the mobile phone from which Kumar allegedly shared the blasphemous content was seized, he said.
A court sent Kumar to jail for further interrogation and he was shifted to Gaddani Central Jail.
Blasphemy, which carries the death penalty, is a sensitive issue in Pakistan. Allegations often prompt mob violence.
A few weeks ago, a mob lynched 23-year-old university student Mashal Khan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province over allegations of blasphemy. He was shot and beaten to death in the presence of policemen.
Vigilantes have murdered 65 people over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to figures compiled by the Center for Research and Security Studies.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday urged fellow G7 leaders not to "give up" on Ukraine four months into Russia's grinding war, as he pledged fresh financial support for Kyiv. The pledge raises the total amount of British financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine this year to around $1.8 billion.
Norwegian police have arrested a man suspected of "Islamist terrorism" after two people were killed and 21 wounded in shootings near a gay bar in Oslo on Saturday, causing the city's Pride march to be cancelled. The suspect, who was already known to security services, was arrested quickly after the shooting started around 1:00 am (2300 GMT Friday) in central Oslo.
To reinforce its Indo-Pacific strategy, and in what is being seen as a response to China's aggressive outreach to Pacific Island states, the United States (US) - along with Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Japan - announced a new Partners in Blue Pacific initiative on Friday. This month, China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, also undertook an eight country tour in the region and hosted a China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers Meeting in Fiji.
Russia's army has “fully occupied” the key Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk after weeks of fighting, its mayor said on Saturday, an important strategic win for Moscow as it seeks to gain full control over the east of the country. The industrial hub of Severodonetsk has been the scene of weeks of running battles, but the Ukrainian army said on Friday that its outgunned forces would withdraw to better defend the neighbouring city of Lysychansk.
President Joe Biden criticised the US Supreme Court for making “terrible decisions”, a day after it struck down the constitutional right to abortion. Biden commented during a signing ceremony on Saturday for gun safety bill he supports, though he continued to sidestep questions about reforms to the court sought by some Democrats. He didn't respond to other questions, such as on court or filibuster reform, before heading off to Europe for international summits.