Pakistan: Three arrested after mob ransacks temple, school and homes over 'blasphemy'

16 September 2019, 10:24 | Updated: 16 September 2019, 10:47

A school, a Hindu temple and several homes in Pakistan have been ransacked after a Hindu principal was accused of blasphemy, police said. 

The violence led to the arrests of three people in the southwestern town of Ghotki.

A student accused Notan Lal of blasphemy after he made comments about the Muslim prophet Muhammad a crime in Pakistan which carries a mandatory death penalty.

Although those accused of blasphemy are rarely executed, mobs have killed people they believe are guilty.

The educator, who denies blasphemy, was taken into custody for his own protection while police investigate the alleged comments and the actions of those who damaged two buildings in Sindh province.

"It seems the principal had not done anything intentionally," district police chief Furrukh Ali said.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said: "The authorities must take prompt action to quell the violence and ensure the safety of the school principal being targeted.

"The video circulated earlier is chilling: mob violence against a member of a religious minority is barbaric, unacceptable."

In January, a Christian was allowed to leave Pakistan after the country's top court upheld her acquittal on blasphemy charges.

Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row, will now be free to join her daughters who fled to Canada and were granted asylum there.

The 54-year-old was acquitted in October - eight years after she was convicted for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a dispute with her neighbours.