Lahore, Dec 19: A former Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandak Committee president has been arrested under blasphemy law for allegedly attacking a Gurdwara in Nankana Sahib in the Punjab province and chanting anti-Pakistan slogans.
Police have registered a blasphemy case against Sardar Mastan Singh and his 25 accomplices, mostly Sikhs, for allegedly attacking a Gurdwara in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak, on the complaint of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandak Committee (PSGPC) incumbent President Sardar Sham Singh.
A Punjab police spokesperson said Mastan was arrested under blasphemy law. However, he did not specify when the arrest was made. "Nankana City Police have registered an FIR against Mastan Singh and 25 of his accomplices under sections 123-A (anti-state slogans) 295-A (injuring or defiling places of worship) of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Some other sections of PPC have also been included in the FIR," Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Director (shrines) Imran Khan told PTI today. He said Mastan was arrested yesterday and the police is carrying out raids to nab other suspects.
Khan said Mastan and his accomplices had "attacked" a Gurdwara and smashed windows and doors of some rooms when the festivities on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak were underway last month.
A source in ETPB, which looks after the holy places of minorities in the country, said the action against Mastan had been taken for protesting before the government functionaries in Nankana Sahib. "Mastan is paying for his violent protest," he said.
A few years ago Mastan was arrested in Lahore for allegedly embezzling Rs 500,000 when he was PSGPC chief. Mastan's counsel had pleaded that the ETPB senior official had a "personal grudge" against Mastan and they wanted to settle an old score with him. He was later released as the department could not prove the charges against him.