Yousaf Masih arrested under blasphemy laws on desecration of Quran in NWFP


Nowshera. June 30, 2005. The NWFP government run by MMA charged one Christian under blasphemy laws on desecration of Quran. The first victim under un Islamic laws of blasphemy in NWFP is 60 years old Yousaf Masih

who works in Nowshera Municipal vicinity as sanitary worker to support his family. It is learnt that Yousaf Masih had an argument on religion with one Muslim in his neighborhood who threatened him of dire consequences. As the news of desecration of Quran spread in Nowshera city, the Muslims started agitation and an angry mob torched a Hindu temple in Cantonment Police Station's jurisdiction, a police official said on Wednesday. The Christians in Nowshera and most of major cities and towns of NWFP Province are lower class Hindu converts and are known as " Balmeki" and visit churches and temples also. The NWFP provincial government is run by MMA, a six Muslim religious parties alliance on border of Afghanistan. The NWFP Assembly also highlighted the incident when MPA Ghur Saran Lal, representing the Hindu minority, voiced concern over the attack on the temple while condemning the Quran's alleged desecration. Lal said NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani had ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident and also for repairs to the damaged temple. "A Hindu temple was attacked and several rooms were burnt," the police official said "We have charged a Christian for desecrating the Quran under the relevant law," he added. Provincial Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Malik Zafar Azam told the House that a "Christian janitor" was arrested for desecrating the Quran and police also arrested eight people for attacking the Hindu temple. Lal told the House that the Hindu community felt threatened after the attack and demanded protection for Hindus. Malik Azam said, "A thorough investigation was ordered into the incident and the attackers would be punished." A police statement issued late on Wednesday said NWFP Inspector General of Police Muhammad Rifat Pasha suspended a Nowshera DSO and SHO for failing to protect the Hindu temple.

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