An 8-year-old Hindu boy recently became the youngest Pakistani prosecuted for blasphemy in the country’s history. The boy is accused of intentionally urinating on a carpet in a madrassa library in Rahim Yar Khan district in July. This room of the Koranic school housed religious works, specifies The Guardian. The case generated great tension and violence.
In fact, the release on bail of the young men accused last week has created controversy. An angry mob of Muslims later attacked a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganesh in Bhong. Images of the attack circulated on social media. The Police arrested 20 people suspected of having participated in the looting on Saturday. The army was deployed to maintain order.
Many Hindu families have fled the Rahim Yar Khan district for fear of attack. The boy’s family went into hiding. The boy was taken into police custody for his protection.
Blasphemy is punishable by death since 1986 in Pakistan. However, if no executions have been carried out for this crime since then, the defendants are often the victims of punitive attacks and several have been lynched. Human rights activist Kapil Dev has called on the government to drop the charges against the child and ensure the safety of their loved ones and other families forced to flee their homes.
“Attacks on Hindu temples have been more numerous in recent years, showing an increase in extremism and fanaticism,” he denounced, referring to “a new wave of persecution.” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan “strongly condemned” the attack on the Bhong temple this Thursday on Twitter. He called for “the arrest of all the guilty” and “actions against police negligence.”