Quetta, May 4 (newsin.asia): A 13-year-old boy died on Thursday when the police fired in the air to quell an angry mob that had gathered near a bus stop in Hub, Lasbela in the Balochistan province of Pakistan demanding that the police hand over a Hindu man arrested on blasphemy charges.
Prakash Kumar, 35, was arrested from Hub on Wednesday after locals complained that he had sent blasphemous content via WhatsApp.
Senior Superintendent of Police Lasbela, Zia Mandokhel told The Express Tribune that the police had lodged a case against the accused while a cellphone, from which the suspect had allegedly shared blasphemous content, had been seized.
Further, a local court had sent the suspect to jail for further interrogation in the case.
But a mob soon gathered outside the Hub city police station demanding that Kumar be handed over to them so they could ‘punish’ him. When law enforcement officers refused, the crowd turned violent.
DSP Lasbela Jan Mohammad Khosa and other officials were injured as the protesters hurled stones at them during the demonstration.
The police managed to disperse the crowd using tear gas shells and firing in the air, and also took scores of protesters into custody.
According to SSP Mandokhel, a teenager died in the violence and had been identified as Qudratullah son of Bismillah. The boy was a resident of Pathan Colony and became a victim of aerial firing during the clash which took place near Gaddani bus stop in Hub.
Traffic between Karachi and Hub was disrupted because of the protest.
Mandokhel said the situation is now under control and all the markets that had shut down in the afternoon had reopened and traffic was also running smoothly.
Blasphemy, which carries the death penalty, is a sensitive issue in Pakistan, with allegations often prompting mob violence.
Vigilantes have murdered 65 people over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to the Center for Research and Security Studies.
(The featured picture at the top shows the police station in Hub, Balochistan)