Nearly 400 Pak girls protest against closure of schools
Lahore: Some 400 girls joined a demonstration in this eastern Pakistani city on Saturday to protest the closure of their school by the government after the principal and a teacher were arrested on charges of blasphemy.
The demonstration was held in Karim Park near the historic Lahore Fort.
A mob, including activists of hardline and extremist groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, ransacked and torched three buildings of the Farooqi Girls High School in Karim Park on October 31 after some local residents claimed the school staff had insulted Prophet Mohammed.
Police subsequently arrested Asim Farooqi, the school`s principal and owner, and a teacher named Arifa and booked them under the harsh blasphemy law.
According to a police official, a question paper set by the private school`s administration had allegedly contained "indecent" remarks about the Prophet.
The students who participated in today`s protest demanded that the government should immediately reopen their school as their studies were being affected.
"You cannot punish over 1,000 students of the school for a mistake committed by one or two staff members," Ayesha, a grade IX student, said.
She said the government should be more concerned about the educational future of the girls studying in the school.
Farooqi, 77, said he was a Muslim and could not imagine committing blasphemy against the Prophet.
He said he had filed an application for bail in a sessions court.
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