Pakistani women kill man accused of blasphemy a decade ago - police | Reuters

By Mubasher Bukhari | ISLAMABAD ISLAMABAD Three women dressed in burqas killed a man who had been accused of blasphemy in 2004 in a northeastern Pakistani town, police said on Thursday, the second brutal killing over alleged insults to Islam in a week. Blasphemy is a highly charged topic in Pakistan where there have been at least 66 murders over unproven allegations since 1990 according to figures from a Centre for Research and Security Studies report and independent records kept by Reuters.

Reuters April 20, 2017 19:06:19 IST
Pakistani women kill man accused of blasphemy a decade ago - police
| Reuters

Pakistani women kill man accused of blasphemy a decade ago  police
 Reuters

By Mubasher Bukhari
| ISLAMABAD

ISLAMABAD Three women dressed in burqas killed a man who had been accused of blasphemy in 2004 in a northeastern Pakistani town, police said on Thursday, the second brutal killing over alleged insults to Islam in a week. Blasphemy is a highly charged topic in Pakistan where there have been at least 66 murders over unproven allegations since 1990 according to figures from a Centre for Research and Security Studies report and independent records kept by Reuters. The country's strict blasphemy laws carry sentences ranging from small fines to the death penalty. The women entered the home of Fazal Abbas, a faith healer and a leader of the minority Shia community in the small city of Sialkot, and asked him to perform a spiritual ritual during which one of them shot him in the chest, police told Reuters. Abbas was accused of blasphemy in 2004 by members of a hard-line conservative group after which he fled to Denmark, his cousin Azhar Hussain and police inspector Nadeem Afzal said.

"He returned recently with the conviction that he would prove his innocence in court and had been granted bail by a local judge," Hussain said. Police say that one of the women acted as an instigator, persuading the other two to carry out the act and identifying Abbas as a blasphemer. "It is their personal act, and I could not find their link to any religious group," inspector Afzal said.

However, Abbas' family believe that a hard-line religious group incited the women to track down their victim and pull the trigger. On April 13 a mob beat student Mashal Khan to death when blasphemy accusations spread across a university campus in the northern city of Mardan. Police are now investigating a number of university students and faculty for their involvement in a brutal attack that shocked the entire nation.

In 2011, a bodyguard assassinated Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer after he called for reforming blasphemy laws. Taseer's killer, executed last year, has been hailed by religious hardliners as a martyr to Islam and a shrine has been erected at his grave.Recently, fighting blasphemy has also become a rallying cry for the government.Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued an order last month for the removal of blasphemous content online and "strict punishment" for those found guilty of posting such content. (Writing by Saad Sayeed; editing by Ralph Boulton)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth
India

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth

Danish's photographs were not just documentation, but the work of someone who went down to eye-level, as they say in photographic parlance.

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.