Pakistan has booked an eight-year-old Hindu boy under charges of blasphemy, a draconian law. Pakistan is the major country where blasphemy is punishable by death and this time eight-year-old is under its attack.
An eight-year-old Hindu boy is booked under charges of blasphemy, a draconian law. Pakistan is the major country where blasphemy is punishable by death and this time eight-year-old is under its attack.
An eight-year-old Hindu boy is being held in protective police custody in east pakistan after becoming the youngest person ever to be charged with blasphemy in the country.
This is not shocking news as there are many instances also in which the accused are killed by mobs before legal proceedings even begin. Often, it is people with mental illness and members of religious minorities who end up being accused of blasphemy.
The head of the Pakistani Hindu Council, Ramesh Kumar, said, “The attack on the temple and blasphemy allegations against the eight-year-old minor boy has really shocked me. More than a hundred homes of the Hindu community have been emptied due to fear of attack.”
“Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have long been abused to target minority groups, but this case marks a shocking and extreme departure.
Pakistan’s minorities are under sustained attack – little can demonstrate the persecution they face better than an eight-year-old boy being subject to a charge that can carry a mandatory death sentence. Hindus constitute Pakistan’s largest non-Muslim minority, estimated at between two and four percent of the population. They include members of parliament, a former chief justice, military officers, and prominent names in the arts.
According to the National Commission of Justice and Peace, a human rights and legal aid group in Pakistan, 774 Muslims and 760 members of various minority religious groups were accused of blasphemy in the last 20 years
In 2019 also, mobs attacked Hindu properties and places of worship in the southern Sindh province in two separate incidents after allegations of “blasphemy” were made against a Hindu school principal and a Hindu veterinarian.
“We have left our shops and work, the entire community is scared and we fear backlash. We don’t want to return to this area. We don’t see any concrete and meaningful action will be taken against the culprits or to safeguard the minorities living here,” the family member added.
Blasphemy Laws In Pakistan Under Pakistan Penal Code: –
The blasphemy laws in Pakistan are very strict as compare to India, following sections are dealing with the blasphemy laws under Pakistan penal code. These sections are prescribing more punishment for blasphemy.
Section-295. Injuries or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class. This section of P.P.C, criminalizes destroying, damaging, or defiling any place of worship, help sacred by any class of persons. It also criminalizes person who has an intention to damage or defile a place of worship as an insult to religion. The punishment for the crime is imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
Section 295-A. Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage, religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
The purpose of this section is to penalize a person who intentionally insults religious feelings of any citizens of Pakistan by either spoken or written, the punishment imprisonment of either for a term which extend to 10 years or fine or with both.
Section 295-B. Defiling etc. of holy Quran This section penalizes any willful action of defiling, damaging or desecrating a copy or even an extract of holy Quran or uses it in any derogatory manner or for any unlawful purpose. The punishment for this act is imprisonment of life.
295-C. Use of derogatory remarks etc. in respect of the holy prophet, The punishment for defiling the name of the prophet Muhammad by spoken or written words, or by visible representation, is death, or imprisonment for life and shall be liable to fine.
296. Disturbing religion assembly- causing disturbance to any religion assembly carries the sentence of imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to 1 year or with fine or with both.
298. Uttering words etc. with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings Uttering words or making sounds in the hearing of that person or making any gesture in order to intentionally hurt religious feelings of any person punishes with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.
298A- Use of derogatory remarks etc. in respect of holy personages: Imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or fine, or both can be applied to a person who defiles the name of any wife or members of the family of Prophet Muhammad or any of the caliphs or companions.
298B- Misuse of epithets, descriptions, and titles, etc. reserved for certain holy personages or places -It is punishable for a person or person belonging to the Qadiani group, who call themselves Ahmadispr by any other name to address any person as a Caliph. It is punishable for them to call their worship place Masjid. It is punishable for them to give a call for prayer as the “Muslims” do know as azan. The punishment is imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to 3 years and shall also be liable to fine.
People Who Are Affected By The Blasphemy Laws In Pakistan
The human rights commission has been recording blasphemy cases in Pakistan for a long time. Their report says that around 40 percent of people booked under the blasphemy laws belong to the highly discriminated and targeted, Ahmadiyya community. The Human rights commission of Pakistan says blasphemy law continues to be misused, especially against dissidents, with cases in which mere accusations that someone committed blasphemy to lead to deadly mob violence. While deaths directly linked to acts of terrorism declined in 2017, the report said attacks against the country’s minorities were on rising. A considerable majority of the people support the idea that people should be punished to insult Islam, but there is inadequate knowledge of what the religious books actually say. Many people support the blasphemy law, which was implemented by the military Dictator General Zia-Ul-Haq and is considered a direct adaption from the Quran. When Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was assassinated who was an eminent detractor of the notorious blasphemy law, Pakistan remained divided, with some healing his assassin “Mumtaz Quadri” as a hero. The national commission of peace and justice says that in the last 25 years, 1058 cases of blasphemy were registered, of the accused, 456 were Ahmadis, 449 were Muslims, 132 were Christians and 21 were Hindus. Non-Muslims, who are four percent of Pakistan’s population, are 57 percent of those charged with blasphemy. The other aspect is that, by far, the majority of cases are filed in Punjab.
Every reported act of violence against minorities must be promptly investigated and those responsible must be brought to justice said Omar Waraich,Amnesty International.
Many members of the Hindu community in Rahim Yar Khan, a conservative district in Punjab, have fled their homes after a Muslim crowd attacked a Hindu temple in the aftermath of the incident.