They could get three years in prison and a fine. From the Pakistan Daily Times, with thanks to Skeet Street.
LAHORE: Five children, three elderly women and six men of the Shia sect have been accused of blasphemy under Section 298(A) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) in Haveli Koranga, Khanewal district, for allegedly making derogatory remarks about one of the companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
Police officials told Daily Times on Wednesday that the local sessions court had granted bail to the 14 accused, but the case hearing had not begun because the police had not submitted the challan.
Following the incident in Basti Mehar Shah on April 19/20, a police case was lodged on April 27. A Deobandi Sunni group affiliated with the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (now called the Millat-e-Islamia) allegedly set a backside portion of a mosque in the area on fire. Ownership of the mosque is disputed between the sects and the case is pending in the Lahore High Court. The mosque has been sealed.
Residents of the area told Daily Times that things had now calmed down. “The situation is not so tense anymore because the Shias, though in majority in the area, are surrounded by the Sipah-e-Sahaba, who are in majority in surrounding areas. Kabirwala tehsil is where Sipah-e-Sahaba was founded in 1986,” said one of the locals.
The complainant in the case is the station house officer (SHO) of the area, Muhammad Afsar Khan. According to the case FIR, written by the SHO, the children made an effigy and allegedly related it to one of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), placed it on a donkey and chanted derogatory remarks. Zahran, Kaneeza and Hameedan, the accused women, had made the effigy for Faisal, Muhammad Shahbaz, Imran, Shahbaz and Najaf. These children then brought the effigy to the bazaar where Zufiqar, Rafqat, Hasan Nawaz, Zaigham, Ghulam Murtaza, and Zamir accompanied them. They chanted the derogatory remarks and made off when some elders scolded them.
Section 298(A) of the PPC says, “Use of derogatory remarks in respect of holy personages. Whoever by words, either, spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or institution, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of any wife (Ummul Mumineen), or members of the family (Ahle Bait) of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), or any of the righteous Caliphs (Khulafa-e-Rasshideen) or companions (Sahaaba) of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extended to three years, or with fine, or both.”
Police officials told Daily Times that according to prior investigations, the children were celebrating Milad on Rabiul Awal 9 (third Islamic month), which is an old tradition in the Shia community. Local Shias said that certain people had raised the issue, which had no significance or truth to it. They said that they were celebrating the death of Omar bin Saad, commander in chief of Yazid’s army that martyred Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS). They said they had not defiled the name of any companion of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)…