Pakistan

Man arrested for selling shoes with sacred Hindu symbol

hindu

ISLAMABAD: Police arrested a man under the blasphemy laws for selling shoes with a sacred Hindu symbol.

The shopkeeper, Jahanzaib Khaskhili, was arrested in Tando Adam and the shoes, which carried the “Om” symbol, were confiscated, said Farrukh Ali, the district police chief.

Hindu community leaders called for the shopkeeper to be punished.

“The state must play a proactive role in punishing the culprits under the blasphemy laws,” Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, the patron of the Pakistani Hindu Council, said in a statement.

Tando Adam, about 200 km (120 miles) northeast of Karachi, is in Sindh province, where the vast majority of Pakistan’s approximately three million Hindus live.

OM

Reuters adds: If convicted, the shopkeeper faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, in addition to a possible fine. Ali, the police chief, said Khaskhili had cooperated with authorities and appeared not to have intended to inflame religious sentiment.

“We will do this according to law, but prima facie it seems that he did not have any intention,” said Ali, adding that police were now investigating the supplier of the shoes, who is based in Punjab province.

“The responsibility in this case will be with the people who actually manufactured the shoes … they would probably have done it intentionally,” he said.

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