Christian Man Detained Over Blasphemy Amidst Land Dispute in Jaranwala

February 12, 2024 – Tensions rise in Faisalabad following the arrest of a Christian man, Younis Bhatti, also known as Bhagat, from 211 RB Jaranwala District, Faisalabad, under the controversial blasphemy law, section 295B, for the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran.


The incident, reported at Khurianwala Police Station, District Faisalabad, on February 10th, 2024, was triggered by a complaint filed by Susan Fatima. She accused Bhatti of entering her house, assaulting her, and disrespecting the holy Quran. According to Fatima, the altercation stemmed from Bhatti's objection to her family's conversion to Islam about one and a half years ago.


A local Christian lawyer, Ashraf Gill, informed Pak Christian News (PCN) that police presence in the area has been intensified to maintain peace. The Christian community is reportedly in a state of fear and anxiety, recalling the violent incident in Jaranwala last August, where churches and houses were attacked over allegations of blasphemy against two Christian brothers, Rocky and his brother Umair Saleem, alias Raja, who are still behind bars.


Pastor Shakoor Alam, a resident of Jaranwala, shed light on Younis Bhatti's background. Bhatti, a widower with three sons and two daughters, is known for allocating land to many Christian families with government cooperation. The plot where Fatima resides is claimed to be his property. Pastor Alam expressed doubts about the veracity of the blasphemy accusation, suggesting it might be a ploy in a land dispute to prevent Bhatti from reclaiming his property. He called for a thorough investigation to uncover the truth, highlighting concerns over the potential misuse of blasphemy laws in personal disputes.


This case has not only ignited fears among the Christian community in Faisalabad but also brought into question the application of blasphemy laws and their impact on minority communities. As the situation unfolds, calls for an impartial and fair investigation are mounting, emphasizing the need to protect the rights of all citizens, irrespective of their religious beliefs.