Riots break out in Ghotki over alleged blasphemy by school principal – Pakistan

The situation of the law and the order of Ghotki and the surrounding areas deteriorated on Sunday when people in large numbers took to the streets to protest against an alleged incident of blasphemy.

The protests began on Saturday after a first informative report of (FIR) was presented against a director, who is from the Hindu community, of the Sindh Public School for the complaint of Abdul Aziz Rajput, the father of a student who claimed that the first had committed blasphemy. . The FIR was submitted under Article 295 (c) – which refers to "derogatory comments regarding the Holy Prophet (PBUH)" – of the Criminal Code of Pakistan.

The residents of the area demanded that the police arrest the director, and issued a call for a strike strike and took to the streets in protest. On Sunday, videos of protesters with canes were shared on social networks, in which they were seen destroying a Hindu temple and damaging the school where the alleged incident occurred.

Ghotki's police superintendent, Farrukh Lanjar, while talking with local reporters, said police controlled the situation of law and order in the area.

Attorney Veerji Kolhi, special assistant to the Chief Minister Sindh on Human Rights, told Dawn: "The situation is being handled properly to avoid further damage or disturbance."

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, who is also the head of the Hindu Council of Pakistan, said Dawn that the case has been handed over to the Deputy Inspector General of Hyderabad, Naeem Shaikh, who will carry out further investigations. He added that the director was in an undisclosed location for security reasons and will be handed over to Shaikh.

"I have spoken to the Sindh police inspector general, Kaleem Imam, who has assured me that he fully protects the defendant, therefore, I will hand over [the principal] to the police in Karachi or in Hyderabad today, "he said.

The MNA said the protesters had destroyed three temples, a private school and several houses belonging to the Hindu community and added that they had asked the police to register a FIR against the people involved in the riots.

The Pakistan Human Rights Commission also shared a video of protesters who broke the school infrastructure and expressed concern about the situation.

"Alarming reports of accusations of blasphemy in Ghotki and the outbreak of mafia violence," the human rights organization said in a tweet.

Twitter users, who shared videos and images of the protests in Ghotki, asked the PPP administration and AIG Ahmed to control the situation. In response to one of those tweets, Ahmed said: "Yes, we are trying to deal with a serious situation in a cold, calculated, impartial and professional manner. The moderate and educated sectors of society must fully support our sincere efforts to do justice. and keep the peace in Ghotki, please. "

Protests were also held in the surrounding cities, including Mirpur Mathelo and Adilpur, where protesters blocked the roads and demanded that the police arrest the school principal.

According to human rights activist Sattar Zangejo, the Hindu community in the area was forced to remain indoors due to the riots.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1505352/riots-break-out-in-ghotki-over-alleged-blasphemy-by-school-principal

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