Religious group threatens to murder man accused of blasphemy in case of release, police say ‘not our problem’

A Christian man has been booked on accusations of blasphemy and subsequently arrested by the Dinga Police Station in Gujrat. The man, identified as Shehzad, was taken into custody by the Dinga police on the complaint of Nadeem Ahmed, a leading figure in the Tehreek e Tahafuz e Islam (TTIP), Pakistan.

The TTIP have since then circulated pictures of the Shehzad Masih on the internet through their social media platforms with derogatory and threatening captions. The group has also declared their intent to murder Shehzad if he is released by the police, their leaders asking their workers not to be deterred by the recent hanging of Mumtaz Qadri. The TTIP also released pictures of their FIR as well as of their leader, Saqib Jalali, outside the police station after lodging the FIR.

Saqib Jalali, who appears as a prominent figure on the poster of the TTIP with the title of ‘Ghazi’ before his name, can be seen in pictures and videos of the incident surrounded by people and telling them the course of action that the group will take if the accused is released by the police. The cleric in his talk asked the crowd and members of the Tehreek to be brave enough to take matters into their own hands if Shehzad is released by the police, and to kill him. He urged them not to fear death and not be afraid because of the recent hanging of Mumtaz Qadri.



Shehzad, who works as a sweeper for a local hospital, was accused of blasphemy by a member of the TTIP who works with him at the same hospital, Ishtiaq Ahmed Jalai.

The FIR states that Shehzad’s colleague, Ishtiaq Jalali, came to the shop of Nadeem Ahmad and told him that Shehzad had uttered blasphemous words in a conversation with him. Nadeem Ahmed, who claims to be the regional president of the TTIP, said that the accused was brought to Ahmed’s mobile shop (Popular Mobile) after being taken from his home, by two men by force. After being brought to the shop after which the witnesses claim the accused repeated his words. The witnesses to this included Ahmed, Jalali and also one other, Abdur Rehman.


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