A madrassa student has been arrested on charges of blasphemy in Pakistan's Punjab province for allegedly burning pages of the Quran to save them from desecration on Wednesday, according to a media report. Junaid Ahmed, 20, a student of a seminary attached to Imdadia Mosque in Chakwal, was disposing of the pages by burning them on Monday when he was seen by some people, who severely tortured him and got a case of blasphemy registered against him.
Ahmed, who belongs to Attock district, was studying at the madrassa run by Mufti Jameelur Rahman of Tehrik Khuddam Ahl-e-Sunnat.
He got permission from a teacher to take the torn pages of the Quran to a well built for the purpose of preserving such sacred items, the Dawn newspaper reported.
When Ahmed reached the well, he found that it was already filled and some torn pages of Quran were lying scattered there. Ahmed's fellow students said they had learnt that torn pages of the Quran could be burnt if burying them or consigning them to the river or sea was not possible.
A man named Akhtar Nisar saw Ahmed burning the pages and alerted the public.
Some persons gathered at the spot and started torturing Ahmed, who said he was burning the pages to protect them from desecration. Nisar later informed police, who arrested Ahmed.
When police produced Ahmed in the court of Magistrate Aitasham Muqarab on Tuesday, he told the judge that he was a devout Muslim and could never think of blaspheming the Quran.
"Had I known that this act could be considered as blasphemy, I would never have done it," the frightened youth told the judge.
The court remanded him to judicial custody and sent him to Jhelum prison. Police will submit the 'chalan' or charge sheet against the youth in a few days.