Policeman kills Shia man for alleged blasphemy in Pakistan

SHAFAQNA – A Pakistani policeman has been accused of killing a detained Shiite man with an axe for alleged blasphemy in the Punjab Province, a day after a Christiancouple was burnt alive by a mob for the same crime.

50-year-old Syed Tufail Haider was arrested a day earlier for injuring a man in Gujrat city, police official said.

During interrogation, Assistant Sub-Inspector Faraz Navid got into a heated argument with Tufail and attacked him with an axe lying in the room, killing him on the spot yesterday.

Gujrat Civil Lines Police Station incharge Malik Amer said one of the witnesses told police that Shah had used blasphemous language.

“When we took Shah to the Civil Lines police station, he started behaving like he was mentally deranged. During interrogation, Shah?exchanged harsh words with interrogating official Fraz Navid.

“At this, infuriated Navid picked up an axe from a room (in the police station) and attacked?Shah with it, killing him on the spot,” Amer said.

The police have taken Navid into custody who confessed to the crime.

“I have killed Tufail Shah because he had committed blasphemy…,” Navid was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed District Police Officer Rai Ejaz to hold an independent inquiry into the incident and submit a report within 24 hours.

Blasphemy incidents are on the rise in the country as most of the people reportedly use the blasphemy cover to settle their scores with minorities.

On November 4, a Christian couple was thrashed and burnt alive by a group of angry Muslims in Pakistan’s Punjab province for allegedly desecrating the Quran. The horrific crime was reported from the villages of Kot Radha Kishan of Kasur district, some 50 kilometres from Lahore.

Global rights watchdog Amnesty International has asked Pakistan to bring those responsible for the killing of a Christian couple, accused of blasphemy, to justice.

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