Man accused of blasphemy killed in Pakistan

A man who was accused of blasphemy was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on the outskirts of the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Last Updated: Mar 05, 2011, 15:15 PM IST

Islamabad: A man who was accused of blasphemy
was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on the outskirts of the
Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi, two days after Minority
Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti was killed by militants for
opposing the controversial blasphemy law.

Mohammad Imran, who was booked for blasphemy with his
friend Sajid Mehmood in April 2009, was killed by three masked
gunmen in a shop in Danda village on the outskirts of
Rawalpindi yesterday.
Imran and Mehmood were arrested in the blasphemy case and
released from jail in February last year after the prosecution
failed to produce any witnesses against them in court.

Sub-Inspector Mehmood Ahmed, who is investigating the
murder, said two of the gunmen entered the shop while the
third stayed outside.

"After spotting their target, they opened fire, killing
Imran on the spot, and escaped," he told Dawn newspaper.

Mohammad Akram, the elder brother of Imran, said in his
complaint to police that he suspected one Imdad Hussain was
behind the murder.

Akram said the attackers were those who had sent his
brother to jail in a concocted case.

Police have not made any arrest so far.

Akram said his brother`s rivals had filed a petition in
the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court challenging his
release.

He said Imran, who had a wife and a daughter, had been
facing financial problems since he was involved in the case.
Imran and Mehmood were booked by police for blasphemy
after a man named Asif Fareed lodged a complaint with police
against them.

Minority Affairs Minister Bhatti, the only Christian
member of Pakistan`s Cabinet, was gunned down near his
residence here on Wednesday.

The banned Taliban claimed responsibility for the
killing, saying he was assassinated for opposing the blasphemy
law.

PTI