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Pakistan: Rights group horrified over ‘cold-blooded murder’ on blasphemy charges

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 30 (ANI): The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Wednesday expressed concern about the “cold-blooded murder” of a woman by three female seminary colleagues in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

The incident took place in the Dera Ismail Khan where the perpetrators killed a woman on allegations of blasphemy. Police said the suspects killed the victim over a “difference of opinion on religious issues” and allegations of blasphemy.

Police said the murder occurred early in the morning outside the Jamia Islamia Falahul Binaat. When police reached the site of the crime, they found the victim lying in a pool of blood with her throat slashed, the Dawn reported citing the first information report (FIR).

According to the FIR, sharp objects were used in the attack on the victim. District Police Officer (DPO) Najamul Hasnain said the victim was a follower of well-known a religious scholar which was not liked by the suspects.

The suspects said that a 13-year-old female relative of theirs “saw a dream last night” in which she found out about the alleged blasphemy committed by the victim and was subsequently “ordered to slaughter her”, the Dawn reported citing DPO.

The HRCP expressed shock at the killing, saying that the accused claimed their allegations and subsequent action were based on a 13-year-old cousin’s ‘dream’.

“HRCP is horrified by the cold-blooded murder of a woman by 3 female seminary colleagues in D I Khan on allegations of blasphemy. That the accused claim their allegations and subsequent action were based on a 13-year-old cousin’s ‘dream’ is both frightening and incomprehensible,” HRCP said in a statement.

“Both the federal and provincial governments need to acknowledge and tackle the recent increase in vigilante-led violence in the name of religion by taking a harder line against perpetrators and ceasing to internalise ‘threats to faith’ in their own political and social narratives,” the rights group added.

Instances of mob violence, and state-enforced criminal blasphemy cases, are more frequent in Pakistan than anywhere else, according to a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Notably, blasphemy violence in Pakistan is reflected through several incidents such as vandalizing of Hindu temples and neighbourhoods, the burning of police stations by angry mobs, the lynching of a student on a university campus and the killing of a provincial governor by his own security guard.

Moreover, 90 per cent of those involved in blasphemy violence are between the ages of 18 and 30, the media outlet reported citing a senior police official’s statement to a parliamentary committee.

According to the Centre for Social Justice, a Lahore-based minority rights group, at least 84 people faced blasphemy accusations in courts and from angry street mobs in 2021. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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