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Hindu teacher sentenced to life imprisonment for ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan

Pakistani Sunnis protest over blasphemy (Photo: IANS)

A sessions court in Pakistan's Ghotki has sentenced a Hindu man to life in prison on charges of blasphemy. Nautan Lal has been fined Rs 50,000 as well, Samaa TV reported.

Additional Sessions Judge Mumtaz Ali Solangi delivered the verdict on Tuesday. It has taken the court two years to pass the final order. Nautan Lal has been in jail since 2019 as an undertrial prisoner.

A case against Nautan Lal was also registered under Section 295-C (use of derogatory remarks).

He has been sent back to Central Prison in Sukkur. In the past two years, his requests for bail have been rejected twice, the report said.

On September 14, 2019, a video was shared on social media in which a teenager, a first-year Intermediate student, claimed that the owner of Ghotki's Sindh Public Higher Secondary School had blasphemed himself.

According to teachers, however, Nautan Lal was just visiting that day. He does not actually teach at his school. He is a physics teacher at Government Degree College Ghotki, the report said.

Soon after, the head of a madrassa, Mufti Adul Karim Sayeedi of Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, registered a blasphemy case against the school owner.

Violence broke out in the district the night the case was registered. As the news spread, masked men attacked the Sacho Satram Dham Temple in Ghotki. They ransacked the temple, damaged its idols and battered its blue and green walls, Samaa TV reported.