Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pakistan: Koran burning rumor sparks violence

A child was taken to a guesthouse, stripped, beaten up and purportedly paraded naked through the streets for burning the Koran. What evidence did the Islamos have? Evidently none.

The good news? No one will be charged with blasphemy. The bad news? It appears that nothing happened to the mob that did this to the poor kid.

Tension gripped a small town in Pakistan, after rumours that a Hindu child had burnt a copy of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. The incident took place in a remote mountainous area between Hyderabad and Karachi.
Following the incident, people reportedly gathered in the town of Thano Ahmed Khan to pressure police to take action against the child. Later it was revealed that the child, who works in a grocery store, had mistakenly given a buyer some goods wrapped in a page from a textbook which had a Koranic verse on it.

According to reports, the child was taken to a guesthouse, stripped and beaten up. Another report, denied by police, said that the boy was paraded naked in the area.

The boy's father, Maharaj Jaman Das, who holds an important religious position in the community, offered an unconditional apology to the protesters and said his son did not know what was written on the paper.

Police tried to verify the incident but no one in Thano Ahmed Khan could produce the paper which contained the Koranic verse. Police in Thano Bula Khan told the Pakistani daily, Dawn, that no charges had been laid as no one had given any evidence that an act of blasphemy had occurred.