Lahore school principal remanded, bail rejected over 'blasphemy' case

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 04, 2012 07:40 hrs

A Pakistani court has refused bail to the principal of a school which was burnt down by a furious mob over a blasphemous piece of homework allegedly containing derogatory references to Prophet Mohammed.

Asim Farooqi, 77, was remanded in custody for 14 days on charges of blasphemy despite arguing that he had played no direct role in the case, reports The Express Tribune.

The homework was set by one of the teachers in Farooqi Girls' High School, Arfa Iftikhar, infuriating the parents and residents who set the school on fire. Iftikhar is currently in hiding.

Farooqi's lawyer, Jawad Ashraf, had asked for bail on the grounds the principal had no role in the incident.

"The principal of the school can only be held responsible for negligence and has no direct role in the blasphemy incident, he should be released," Ashraf had told the court.

About 10 clerics from local mosques gathered at the court to oppose the principal's release.

But at the same time around 2,000 students, parents and teachers gathered at the school to demand its reopening, carrying placards and chanting slogans to release the principal.

Earlier on Friday, the school management took out front page adverts in two leading newspapers to deny any knowledge of the supposed insults. (ANI)

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