US lawmaker seeks changes in Pakistan blasphemy law

Tension ran high in Mehran Samejo village in Ghotki district after a Hindu man, Amar Lal, who was said to be mentally unstable, allegedly desecrated a holy book a day earlier.

By: PTI | Washington | Published: July 30, 2016 8:57 am
ghotki Tension ran high in Mehran Samejo village in Ghotki district after a Hindu man, Amar Lal, who was said to be mentally unstable, allegedly desecrated a holy book a day earlier.

In the wake of killing of a Hindu teenager in Pakistan and the arrest of a man from the minority community for allegedly desecrating a holy book, a top US lawmaker has called for immediate changes in the country’s blasphemy laws.

“Two Sindhi Hindu teenagers shot in Sindh. Another arrested for Blasphemy. Pakistan’s Blasphemy law needs to be changed. Now,” Congressman Brad Sherman on Friday said in a tweet.

A Hindu youth was shot dead on Wednesday as communal tension gripped a district in Pakistan’s Sindh province following alleged desecration of a holy book by a man from the minority community who was arrested for blasphemy.

Tension ran high in Mehran Samejo village in Ghotki district after a Hindu man, Amar Lal, who was said to be mentally unstable, allegedly desecrated a holy book a day earlier.

According to reports, Amar, who has been arrested, was a drug addict and was living in a mosque after converting to Islam a few months ago.

After the incident, local religious leaders along with several agitated people took to streets. During a protest, some men riding on motorbikes fired at two Hindu youths who were sitting outside a tea stall in Mirpur Mathelo area.

In the attack, one of the youths, Dewan Sateesh Kumar, 17, was killed while another was critically injured, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Masood Ahmed Bangash said. Satesh was a businessman.

Local leaders of the Hindu community have demanded protection of their lives and properties in the wake of the tensions. Bangash said that police with the help of Rangers are trying to diffuse the tense situation.
According to reports, all towns of the Ghotki district remained closed today.

Leaders of local religious parties have demanded severe punishment for Amar, who has been booked for blasphemy and shifted to an undisclosed location by police. Sindh has the biggest population of Hindus in Pakistan.

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