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Pakistani Man Arrested For Blasphemy After Selling Shoes With Hindu Symbol

Pakistani police have arrested a man under the majority-Muslim country's strict blasphemy laws for selling shoes with a sacred Hindu symbol.

District Police Chief Farrukh Ali said the shopkeeper, Jahanzaib Khaskhili, was arrested on June 20 in the southern town of Tando Adam.

Ali said the shoes, emblazoned with a symbol for the sacred Hindu syllable Om, were confiscated.

If convicted, the shopkeeper faces a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

Leaders of the Hindu community, including Punjabi Sikhs who worship the symbol itself as a deity, called for the shopkeeper to be arrested under Pakistan’s blasphemy legislation.

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are usually enforced against people accused of making derogatory remarks about Islam or willfully desecrating the Koran.

Critics have said the laws are unfairly applied and often used to settle personal scores.

Based on reporting by Reuters and BBC

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