Police on Saturday arrested the cleric of a mosque in Okara district on terror charges in connection with an incident involving a 15-year-old boy who had cut off his own hand believing he had committed blasphemy.
An FIR was registered against prayer leader Shabbir Ahmed Friday night on behalf of the state under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and Section 324 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The cleric was arrested under the National Action Plan (NAP) for inciting violence through his speech, police officials said.
They added that the allegations of the cleric led to the boy’s heinous act, as he felt ashamed and dejected after being called a blasphemer.
Members of the crowd, the cleric had delivered his speech to, said they were aware the boy had not committed blasphemy and that he was the victim of a misunderstanding.
The 15-year-old boy however maintained that the cleric was blameless while his act was reportedly celebrated by his parents and neighbours.
The cleric, some six days ago, addressing a Mehfil-i-Milad at a village mosque in Chak 3D of Hujra Shah Muqeem town in Depalpur Tehsil, said that “those who love Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) always say their prayers”.
He then asked his audience “Who does not love the Prophet (PBUH)?” The cleric asked, “Raise your hand.” The child misheard the question and raised his hand. The imam then pointed to the youth and alleged he was a “blasphemer and was liable to be killed”.