A Hindu sanitation worker in Pakistan was booked in a fake blasphemy case over alleged desecration of Quran, according to local media reports. The complaint was reportedly lodged by a local resident after his brawl with the sanitation worker belonging to Hindu minority community in Pakistan’s Hyderabad. The police had to disperse a charged mob which has gathered around an apartment building to get hold of the worker, identified as Ashok Kumar.
“Hyderabad police dispersed a violent mob which was demanding handing over a Hindu sanitary worker accusing him of #blasphemy Police claims the sanitary worker was targeted because of a personal clash with a local resident,” said Mubashir Zaidi in a Tweet.
Kumar was reportedly lodged at Rabia centre in Saddar of Hyderabad.
Taking to Twitter, Pakistani journalist and columnist Naila Inayat tweeted, “Hindu sanitary worker Ashok Kumar booked under 295B of blasphemy over alleged desecration of the Quran in Hyderabad. The allegation came after a brawl with shopkeeper Bilal Abbasi who then lodged the complaint against Kumar.”
“Earlier, a charged mob gathered around the apartment building to get hold of the Hindu man. Police dispersed the mob and arrested the victim,” she added.
While the agitated mob wanted to attack the Hindu worker on blasphemy allegations, news agency ANI, citing local media, reported that it was actually a Muslim woman who had burned the holy book of Muslims.
Social media users lauded Hyderabad police for quickly dispersing the violent mob.
A user wrote, “excellent work by Pakistan’s Sindh police in Hyderabad city, no room for bigotry of any kind: now that a disaster has been averted, the perpetrators and instigators must be brought to justice.”
“The misuse of the draconian blasphemy laws against minorities and even members of the Muslim community to settle personal grudges is rampant in Pakistan,” another user tweeted.
Pakistan has a draconian blasphemy law and many people have been lynched to death on mere accusation. In December 2021, a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob in Pakistan over blasphemy allegations. The vigilante attack caused outrage, with then Prime Minister Imran Khan calling it a “day of shame for Pakistan”.