Om sandal seller arrested, charged with blasphemy

New York, June 21, 2016: Social media protests seemed to have worked yet again for the Pakistani Hindu community! The shoe seller who was selling the sacred Hindu symbol ‘Om’ as the decoration over sandals has been apprehended by the police and an investigation has been launched. He has also been charged under the blasphemy law.

The shopkeeper, Jahanzaib Khaskhili, was apparently under investigation as soon as social media erupted over the ‘Om’ sandal. These sandals were being sold in Sindh’s Tando Adam district.

If convicted then he may have to serve a jail time of at least 10-years along with a hefty fine.

It is yet to be seen what action is taken next as rarely do the investigation ever fully materialise into something concrete for the minority community.

The manufacturer of the shoe has so far not been booked or charged by the police.

Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, leader of Pakistan Hindu Council, has on Sunday said that for the last year on the occassion of Eid, some shopkeepers in Tando Adam were offering shoes that had the Hindu sacred symbol on the top as decoration. He had said that this was done to hurt Hindu sentiments.

Pakistan Hindu Seva (Welfare Trust) had earlier issued a statement saying that this was no doubt a blasphemous act but we appeal to the locals of the area ‘to intervene into the matter & address the issue within the jurisdiction of law to avoid any violence.’

Sindh is home to majority of Pakistan’s shrinking Hindu population.