Sindh police has arrested a shopkeeper over blasphemy charges, as he was selling shoes which had religious symbols of Hindus. The incident took place in Tando Adam district of Sindh, where shopkeeper Jahanzaib Khashkili was booked by the police, all the stock of shoes having Hindu symbols, was confiscated. Followed by circulation of news that these shoes were being sold at his shop, there was a loud outcry against shopkeeper Jahanzaib.
The blasphemous shoes sale had caused a loud uproar among the local Hindu community and Hindu leaders demanded arrest of Jahanzaib and due punishment. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Pakistani Hindu Council, said, “The state must play a proactive role in punishing the culprits under the blasphemy laws.”
Farrukh Ali, the district police chief said, the blasphemy respondent is liable to face a 10-year-imprisonment if found guilty. “We will do this according to law, but prima facie it seems that he did not have any intention,” he said, while adding that police is hunting for the supplier of these shoes, who is purportedly based in Punjab. “The responsibility in this case will be with the people who actually manufactured the shoes, they would probably have done it intentionally,” he said.
Pakistan Hindu Seva, a Pakistani Hindu advocacy group has recently, pointed out to another shopkeeper namely Farhan Ahmad in Tando Jam, for selling similar shoes with Hindu religious symbol on them. “This is shameful for the rest of the citizens who use to visit this shop everyday and try this Chapal fabricated with ‘OM.’
The shopkeeper either sells this Chapal intentionally or unintentionally, must be barred from selling because it’s hurting the sentiments of Hindu community and spreading the hatred which might be turning into violent response,” Pakistan Hindu Seva stated while calling it a blatant blasphemy meanwhile urging “the local activists of the area to intervene into the matter and address the issue within the jurisdiction of law to avoid any violence.”