Police in Punjab’s Sahiwal district have booked six people, including owner of a private transport service, under blasphemy law for allegedly desecrating a Sikh man’s turban. Owner of a local bus service, Haji Riyasat, and his five employees Baqir Ali, Rashid Gujar, Faiz Alam, Shakeel and Snawal have been booked under blasphemy law for desecrating a turban of a Sikh passenger, police sources on Monday.
According to reports, Mahinder Singh Paal, a 29-year-old resident of Multan, was traveling from Faisalabad to Multan by a bus owned by Kohistan-Faisal Movers Company which is based out of Dijkot.
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“The bus was travelling at a low speed as it took around five hours to reach Chichawatni terminal from Dijkot — a distance it normally covers in an hour,” Singh said in his application to Chichawatni police.
“At the Chichawatni terminal, fellow passengers and I complained to the transport company’s staff about the slow speed of the bus and demanded an alternative vehicle for the onward journey,” he added.
Their demand, however, met a cold response from the management and a few harsh words were exchanged between the passengers and the employees of the transport company which led to a fierce brawl.
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“Rashid Gujjar, the terminal employee, threw my turban on the ground,” Singh upheld in his application. “The turban is considered as holy in the Sikh religious code and throwing it on the ground is deemed equal to desecrating the Sikh religion.”
Police were conducting raids to arrest the bus service owner.
Meanwhile, Singh also alleged that some local politicians were backing the suspects and influencing the investigations. He appealed to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the incident.
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