File photo: Hindus in Pakistan face discrimination and even risk abduction, rape and forced marriage. Photograph:( Twitter )
The boy is accused of intentionally urinating on a carpet in the library of a madrassa, where religious books were kept, last month. Blasphemy charges can carry the death penalty
An eight-year-old Hindu boy is being held in protective police custody in east Pakistan after becoming the youngest person ever to be charged with blasphemy in the country.
The boy is accused of intentionally urinating on a carpet in the library of a madrassa, where religious books were kept, last month. Blasphemy charges can carry the death penalty.
His family is in hiding and many of the Hindu community in the conservative district of Rahim Yar Khan, in Punjab, have fled their homes. This happened after a Muslim crowd attacked a Hindu temple after the boy’s release on bail last week.
The deplorable attack on a Hindu temple in Bhong, Rahimyar Khan, is a recurring example of mob-led violence against vulnerable religious minorities. The fact that this occurred in response to a court granting bail to a child charged with a minor offence is of particular concern. pic.twitter.com/aDENO5PKte— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) August 5, 2021
Also, troops were deployed to the area.
As of now, 20 people were arrested in connection with the temple attack.
The Guardian claims to know the identity of the boy and his family, however, they chose to protect it.
Speaking from an undisclosed location, a member of the boy’s family was quoted by The Guardian as saying, “He [the boy] is not even aware of such blasphemy issues and he has been falsely indulged in these matters. He still doesn’t understand what his crime was and why he was kept in jail for a week.
“We have left our shops and work, the entire community is scared and we fear backlash. We don’t want to return to this area. We don’t see any concrete and meaningful action will be taken against the culprits or to safeguard the minorities living here.”
Blasphemy charges filed against a child left the lawmakers completely stunned.
Ramesh Kumar, a lawmaker and head of the Pakistan Hindu Council, was quoted by The Guardian saying, "The attack on the temple and blasphemy allegations against the eight-year-old minor boy has really shocked me. More than a hundred homes of the Hindu community have been emptied due to fear of attack".