Muslim man accuses friend of sending him blasphemous poetry on Whatsapp messaging service.
A Christian was charged with blasphemy on Monday after his Muslim friend alleged he had sent a poem on Whatsapp that insulted Islam, police said.
Yasir Bashir said Nadeem James had sent him a poem on the messaging app that was derogatory about Islam’s Prophet and other holy figures.
“Police have registered a case on blasphemy charges against Nadeem James and are searching for him as he has fled his home,” said a local law enforcement official on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
Another police official said that James’ relatives had been taken into “protective custody” and that there was increased security in Christian neighborhoods in the town of Sara-i-Almgeer because of local tension arising from Bashir’s complaint.
Such allegations can trigger beatings and mob violence in Pakistan, which has strict blasphemy laws including the death penalty for insulting Islam’s Prophet.
A Christian couple were lynched then burnt in a kiln in Punjab in 2014 after being falsely accused of desecrating the Quran. Rights campaigners say blasphemy laws are often used to settle personal disputes in the Muslim-majority country.