Six people have been booked by the police over blasphemy charges for desecrating a Sikh’s turban. The incident took place in Sahiwal district, when a bus owner and his five employees allegedly defiled a Sikh passenger’ turban. A 29-year-old Sikh passenger Mahinder Singh Paal, who is resident of Multan, was travelling from Faisalabad to Multan by a bus which was owned by the Kohistan-Faisal Movers transport company. While narrating the incident, he said, “The bus was travelling at a low speed as it took around five hours to reach Chichawatni terminal from Dijkot — a distance it normally covers in an hour.”
“At the Chichawatni terminal, fellow passengers and I complained to the transport company’s staff about the slow speed of the bus and demanded an alternative vehicle for the onward journey,” Mahinder added.
However, he said after the passengers demanded for an alternate vehicle, but the transport company’ staff responded in a hostile manner. At this point, a dispute broke between the management and the passengers while harsh words were exchanged which soon changed into a fierce clash. “Rashid Gujjar, the terminal employee, threw my turban on the ground,” Mahinder Singh claimed in his application while adding, “The turban is considered as holy in the Sikh religious code and throwing it on the ground is deemed equal to desecrating the Sikh religion.”
After Mahinder filed a police complaint, the police in Sahiwal distirct’ police carried out raids and hooked owner of a local bus service, Haji Riyasat, along with his five employees namely Baqir Ali, Rashid Gujar, Faiz Alam, Shakeel and Sanwal. These six people were booked over blasphemy charges, for desecrating turban of a Sikh passenger.
On the other hand, Mahinder Singh claims that the perpetrators are being backed by some local politicians; who are influencing the investigations. He urged, the Chief Minister of Punjab-Shahbaz Shareef to take notice of the incident.