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Pakistani artist killed under false charges of blasphemy: Family

Sindhi artist Qutub Rind was killed under false charges of blasphemy in Lahore, his family has said, accusing local police of being unwilling to act in the matter.

world Updated: Aug 07, 2018 01:11 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan,artist,blasphemy
On April 13, 2017, Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, was lynched by a mob riled up by allegations of blasphemy. The killing had led to widespread protests in Pakistan (pictured).(AP/File Photo)

Sindhi artist Qutub Rind was killed under false charges of blasphemy in Lahore, his family has said, accusing local police of being unwilling to act in the matter.

Gul Beg Rind told local media that his nephew Qutub, a National College of Art graduate, along with his two children, came to Lahore on July 17 for an art show.

“Qutub had rented out an apartment but had an altercation with the landlord that day,” he said, adding “Later at night, the landlord, along with two of his accomplices, came to the house and broke Rind’s arms, legs and then pushed him from the third floor of the building,” he added.

Rind later passed away in the hospital due to severe head injuries, according to a medical report.

A friend of Qutub, Hamid Ali, who had registered an FIR, claimed that the suspects confessed to killing Rind for committing blasphemy. “As soon as police caught the suspects, they confessed, but changed their statements later,” he said.

Another friend of Rind said that he was a socio-political thinker and a painter. “His work was against caste system and tribal wars,” he said.

Police said claims that the victim was murdered for allegedly committing blasphemy are not true, adding that it was a dispute over payment of rent.

Since 1990, vigilantes have been accused of murdering 65 people tied to blasphemy, according to research compiled by Pakistani think tank, Centre for Research and Security Studies.

On April 13, 2017, Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, was lynched by a mob riled up by allegations of blasphemy. As details of the bone-chilling event, including a video recording of the event, were reported, a different picture started to emerge — one that had nothing to do with blasphemy.

While the state has never executed anyone under blasphemy laws, mere allegations have prompted mob violence and lynchings.

First Published: Aug 07, 2018 01:11 IST