ISLAMABAD: A teacher and a Sufi preacher have been arrested on blasphemy charges in two separate incidents in Punjab, police said Saturday.
The preacher was arrested in the village of Changa in Daska district of Punjab province for preaching things “contrary to Islam”, local police station chief Javed Hussain told AFP.
“Saeen Aslam was arrested on Friday over blasphemy charges on the complaints of locals that he had been asking the villagers to stop offering prayers and just bow before him,” Hussain said.
Islam forbids Muslims to bow before anyone except Allah and doing so also falls under country’s blasphemy law.
Hussain said Aslam had started preaching at a local shrine of Sufi saint Panj Shaheed some three months ago and had been acting strangely.
In a second incident in the Punjab town of Kamalia a college teacher was arrested on Friday for beating up a student from the minority Shiite sect who absented himself to attend the annual Ashura procession last week.
“Police have arrested a teacher Faraz Ahmed for thrashing his Shiite student Zainul Abideen because he missed his class to attend his religious rites,” local police official Mohammad Farooq told AFP.
Ahmed has been charged under the blasphemy law for assaulting the student because of his faith and detained, he added.
Both Ahmed and Aslam face up to 10 years jail time if convicted, police officials said.
Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan. -AFP