A teenager came into a police station on Friday and shot down a 65-year-old man from a minority community accused of blasphemy in a Punjab village.
The reports say that this is the second killing related to country’s controversial blasphemy law in many weeks after the murder of advocate Rashid Rehman khan a few days ago, a Human rights activist.
Earlier this week accused Khalil Ahmad and three other Ahmadis had requested a shopkeeper in their village Sharaqpur – located about 55 km (33 miles) northwest of the Punjab capital, Lahore – to remove inflammatory stickers denouncing their community, said Saleemud Din, a spokesman for the Ahmadi community.
The shopkeeper registered blasphemy charges, in revenge, against the four men on May 12. Victim Ahmad, a father of four, was in police custody when the teenage boy arrived, asked to meet him, and gunned him dead, Din told.
He added police told him that the murderer, a high school student, had been taken into custody
In addition, Din told the gap in safety would have to be investigated meticulously. Pakistani police are extremely poorly qualified and trained and security is frequently negligent, critics say.
Din further said, “They told us the person who shot Mr. Khalil is just a boy,” Din told Reuters, “The hate campaign carried out against us by the mullahs is going on and on and on.”
Ahmadis have been arrested in Pakistan for reading the Holy Quran, holding religious celebrations and having Quranic verses on rings or wedding cards. Eighty six Ahmadis were killed in two simultaneous attacks four years ago in Lahore.
The colonial-era law does not describe blasphemy but says it is punishable by death. Anyone can register a blasphemy case appealing their religious emotions are hurt for any reason.
The accused are often hanged, and lawyers and judges defending or releasing them have been attacked. Rights groups say the laws are increasingly manipulated to settle issues of money or property.
Two politicians who recommended reforming or repealing the law were murdered, one by his own bodyguard. Lawyers welcomed the killer in court showering rose petals on him.
The number of blasphemy claims is growing, according to a 2012 research by the Islamabad-based think tank, the Center for Research and Security Studies. In 2001, there was only one such complaint, but in 2011 there were 80. No more latest figures are existing but 2014 seems to set a record.
Earlier this week, 68 lawyers were charged under blasphemy for using the name ‘Umar’ in protest posters against a police official of the same name.
Last week a prominent human rights lawyer defending a Pakistani university professor accused of blasphemy was shot and killed after being threatened in court by other lawyers.
Human right activist, Rashid Rehman Khan, had been killed for defending the professor, who taught English and was blamed by forceful student groups for making blasphemous for statements on his Facebook page in March 2013.