68 lawyers booked under blasphemy laws in Jhang
JHANG: The Kotwali Police have lodged an FIR under Section 298/A of PPC (blasphemy) against eight nominated and 60 unknown members of the District Bar Association here on Monday.
The Section 298/A reads: “Use of derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of holy personages: Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle–bait), of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rashideen) or companions (Sahaba) of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”
On the orders of the District Police Officer (DPO) Kotwali Police had registered a criminal case against SHO Kotwali Umar Daraz, ASI Mubasher and five other cops for thrashing and keeping a lawyer Aftab Nadeem in illegal detention a couple of days ago. But the police did not arrest the nominated accused police officials and DBA members went on strike till the arrest of the SHO and his subordinates.
The DBA members also staged a demonstration and brought out a protest rally against the police and they chanted slogans. On the third day of the lawyers’ strike, a resident of Basti Attawali, Jhang, Sadr, one Arshad Mehmood through an application informed the police that during the protest some lawyers shouted slogans with the name of SHO Umar Daraz and in this way they also use harsh words against Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA) and his (applicant’s) religious emotions have been hurt by the lawyers. By accepting the version of the applicant, the Kotwali police immediately logged an FIR No.294/14 against eight nominated and sixty other lawyers under Section 298/A of PPC (blasphemy law).
Sources said that it was an exceptional FIR in which lawyers who were protesting against the police highhandedness were booked under blasphemy law. The issue would be taken up by Punjab and Pakistan bar councils. The DPO Zeeshan Asghar was not available for comments on the issue. However, no arrest was made till the filing of this report.