Turban desecration lawsuit: Court grants bail to five named in blasphemy case

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A local court grants bail, to five people named in a blasphemy case of desecrating a Sikh’s turban. Mahindar Paul Singh had filed a police compliant that six people had allegedly desecrated his turban which is tantamount to blasphemy. Moreover, Mahindar Paul claims that Police had added wrong sections of the blasphemy law in the FIR.

Blasphemy law in Pakistan

The complainant Mahindar Singh said that the judge had remarked that 295 has been invoked in this case, which deals with desecration of religious places but in this case his turban was desecrated which is not a religious place. “The judge has told me that section 295 of PPC is Bailable,” he added. He grumbled that the police had charged the perpetrators under wrong section of the blasphemy law due to which they have been granted bail.

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29-year-old Mahindar Paul Singh 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 he filed a police complaint, an FIR (number 169/16) was registered under sections 295, 148 and 506 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which deals with insulting any religious place, forced kidnapping and criminal intimidation respectively. Consequently, the police hooked six people in this case.