Pakistani Muslim jailed for burning Quran
Muzaffarabad: A Pakistani court has jailed a 42-year-old Muslim man for life for burning a Quran, officials said.
Naseem Ahmed, a father of three, was arrested last June on charges of desecrating Islam`s holy book in Lasda village in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, about 40 kilometres east of Muzaffarabad.
The farmer was found guilty under the Muslim country`s tough blasphemy laws that make defaming Islam punishable by death and which have been heavily criticised in the West, particularly over the persecution of a tiny non-Muslim minority.
"We heard up to 15 witnesses. His mother also testified against the accused and we have given him life imprisonment," Judge Ameerullah Khan said.
Ahmed said he would appeal the sentence, professing his innocence and saying he had no idea that a Quran was among a pile of books he set alight.
"My younger brother and sister didn`t care about their school books and used to leave them scattered around the house," Ahmed said, speaking by telephone from custody.
"One day I came home and got angry at seeing the books scattered. I collected them up and burnt them. My mother admonished me, telling me that among the books I burnt, was a copy of Holy Quran," he said.
"The neighbour overheard and called the police. Members of a rival (Sunni Muslim) sect with whom I had been clashing in the past suddenly became active in this case that is why I have been convicted," he said.
Pakistan introduced its anti-blasphemy law in 1986 and it was adopted by Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in 1993.
In late 2010, a Pakistani court sentenced a Christian mother to death for blasphemy. Her case was taken up by liberal politician Salman Taseer, who was shot dead in January 2011 over his calls to reform the blasphemy law.
Last month, reports that Americans set fire to Qurans on an American base in neighbouring Afghanistan sparked riots that killed at least 40 people. (AFP)
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- Columbia student takes rape-protest mattress to graduation
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- Delhi: Car catches fire after crash, one dead
- Jayalalithaa makes public appearance, meets Governor: As it happened
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- Kejriwal slams notification on LG's powers, says Modi running Delhi govt through back door
- Tanu Weds Manu Returns movie review: Brilliant execution, superb performance!
- Manohar Parrikar meets troops at Siachen base camp
- Wbbse.org 10th Madhyamik Pariksha Results 2015: West Bengal Board (wbresults.nic.in) Class 10th, WB MP Results 2015 to be announced today shortly
- Businessman shot next to Amitabh Bachchan's shooting location in Mumbai Film City
- West Bengal Board (wbbse.org & wbresults.nic.in) Class 10th Madhyamik Pariksha (MP) Results 2015 to be announced today at 10 AM
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Rajasthan Board RBSE 12th Inter Results 2015: BSER Ajmer (rajeduboard.nic.in & rajresults.nic.in) Senior Secondary Class 12th Science & Commerce Exam Results 2015 to be declared today at 2 PM
- RBSE 12th Results 2015 (rajeduboard.nic.in & rajresults.nic.in): Rajasthan Board BSER Ajmer Senior Secondary Class 12th XII Intermediate Science & Commerce Exam Results 2015 to be declared today on May 22
- After land bill, net neutrality, Rahul Gandhi to fight for ex-servicemen now
- SC asks Haryana Police to quickly finish AIPMT paper leak probe