Jagdish Kumar, a 25-year-old Hundu factory worker beaten to death by Muslim colleagues on blasphemy accusations.
09 Apr 2008
KARACHI: April 9, 2008. The blasphemy law has swallowed first Hindu community member in Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The blasphemy law was being used against Christians and Ahmadi,s after introduction of section 295 B and C in Pakistan Penal Code by General Zial-ul-Haq, which was later legislated to death sentenced by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Many Christians in Pakistan were shot dead by Muslims on accusations of blasphemy and dozens were booked and sent to jails. The Ahmadi Community, on claims to be sects of Muslims was also targeted under this law but Hindu community was never implicated in blasphemy.
Jagdish Kumar, a low cast Hindu, migrated from interior Sindh to Karachi for living and started working in leather factory in industrial area of Landhi-Korangi.
According to reports by Karachi police, Jagdish Kumar entered in religion dialogue with his Muslim co-workers and uttered blasphemous remarks about Prophet Mohammad. The angry Muslim colleagues turned violent and started beating him till his death.
It's learned that Muslim workers tried to burn his dead body but police reached on spot and recovered dead body.
"About 1,500 workers at the factory in the Korangi industrial area beat to death the Hindu worker over [allegations of] blasphemy," police superintendent Farrukh Bashir said. The mob was trying to burn the body when officers arrived and took it away, Bashir added. Police had made several arrests, he said, without giving numbers according to information by news agencies.
The death incident of Jagdish Kumar has sparked fear among religious communities in Pakistan and social society leaders are raising demands of justice for victim.
It is also feared that blasphemy laws shall be used again as weapon against Christian's killing in Punjab after recent election when same political group have won majority in province which legislated death penalty on blasphemy. The Manzoor Masih was also shot dead by Muslims before Lahore High Courts on blashmey charges in regime of same party.
Meanwhile Daily Dawn reports:
One of the investigators, who met some members of the victim's family after the incident, said they were not ready to accept the reason being given for the killing of Jagdeesh.
"The case must be investigated and his co-workers should be taken into custody and interrogated, because no-one can even think of uttering blasphemous remarks against the Prophet in a Muslim society," the official quoted a close relative of the victim as saying.
Like police, the family also believed that the murder had nothing to do with religion. It could have been the result of a personal feud. Raju, brother-in-law of the victim, told Dawn that the case should be properly investigated.
"Jagdeesh was a simple man who knew little about religion. He had come to Karachi to earn a living and not to indulge in debates over religion. And it is easy to kill a member of a minority community and then accuse him of uttering blasphemous remarks. And that it is why there is need for a proper and thorough investigation," he said.
"Even if it is a case of blasphemy it should be brought to court," said Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, renowned Islamic scholar and chairman of the Ruet Hilal Committee.
"In Pakistan there has been no such case of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by a member of a minority sect, nor we (Muslims) ever did any such thing against other religions."
He said the incident should be investigated in a transparent manner to determine the actual reasons behind the murder and not to allow anyone to take the law into his own hands.