Thu, 15 Nov 2012 03:56:20 GMT

Pakistani ''blasphemy school'' headteacher released on bail

Lahore, Nov 14 (PTI) A Pakistani court today granted post-arrest bail to Asim Farooqi, the principal of a private school who was arrested on a charge of blasphemy after some persons complained that a piece of homework had insulted the Prophet Mohammed.

Justice Sagheer Ahmad Qadri of the Lahore High Court granted bail to Farooqi and directed him to furnish bail bonds of Rs 200,000.

Police had registered a case under the harsh blasphemy law against Farooqi and a female teacher of his school. Jawad Ashraf, Farooqi''s lawyer, argued that his client had no role in the matter and that police had failed to furnish any direct evidence against him.

Ashraf said his aged client was a cardiac patient and his health could be in danger if he was not released.

Earlier, police arrested four persons and recovered from them Rs 26 million they had looted while ransacking Farooqis school. The suspects, who live adjacent to the Farooqi Girls High School on Ravi Road near Data Darbar, took advantage of a violent protest and stole cash from a safe.

Scores of protesters, including members of some hardline religious groups, besieged the school, ransacked its three buildings and torched the owner''s car on October 31.

The protestors claimed the school''s management had distributed a paper among students a few days before Eid-ul-Azha that contained derogatory remarks about the Prophet.

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