Karachi, July 27
A Pakistani man has been arrested for slapping and forcing a Hindu boy to mock and hurl abuses at his religious deities in the southern Sindh province after a video of the incident went viral on social media, police said on Tuesday.
Mukesh Bheel, the young boy who works at the Thar Coal Project, can be seen in the video begging the man to forgive and let him go as he is being slapped and abused.
The man at one stage orders the boy to hurl obscenities at his religious deities and can also be heard telling the visibly shaken boy to say “Allahu Akbar”, an Arabic phrase meaning "God is the greatest".
The Mithi police in Tharparkar sprung into action and arrested the man identified as Abdul Salam Abu Dawood from Khoski in Badin district where he had fled after the video went viral on social media on Monday night.
It was not immediately clear when the exchange was recorded, but SHO at the Mithi police station Muhammad Soomar said that Dawood had stopped Bheel on the main road around five to six kilometres from Mithi near the shrine of Chutthan Shah and slapped him.
The officer said the suspect had grabbed the victim by his neck while forcing him to hurl abuses at his religious deities.
As the video went viral and condemnation poured in, the Sindh government took notice and ordered the police to arrest the suspect.
Police have registered cases against Dawood under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of SHO Soomar.
Bheel was also forced to hurl abuses at his mother and sister.
In the complaint filed by Soomar on behalf of the state, Dawood is accused of committing sacrilege of the Hindu religion, which has hurt feelings of the minority Hindu population and caused anguish among the community.
According to local journalists, Dawood too used to work at the Thar Coal Project, but had been sacked some time ago. His Facebook profile still lists the Thar Coal Project as his employer.
According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, as per the minority community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.
The majority of Pakistan's Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions, and language with their Muslim neighbours. — PTI
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