Islamabad: Police in Pakistan’s Sindh province have arrested a shopkeeper who sold shoes with sacred Hindu word ‘Om’ inscribed on them and seized the offensive foot-wears following protests by the country’s minority community.
“The shopkeeper was arrested and the shoes in question have also been confiscated,” said Pakistan Hindu Council (PHC) patron-in-chief Ramesh Kumar Vankwani.
Mr. Vankwani said police have found that the controversial shoes were purchased from a manufacturer in Lahore and Punjab police were being approached for taking action against them.
‘Unethical, highly immoral’
“It is unethical and highly immoral to insult any religion, either of a minority or majority,” he said in a statement.
“The state must play the proactive role for punishing the culprits under the blasphemy laws,” Mr. Vankwani said while talking to a Hindu delegation visiting him over the issue.
The PHC had lodged protests with the Sindh government and authorities in Tando Adam Khan area after it was brought to the notice of the Hindu community that shoes were being sold with the sacred word ‘Om’ inscribed on them.
The PHC patron-in-chief said the sale of these shoes were an insult to the Hindus in Pakistan as it was blasphemous to use the sacred word ‘Om’ on shoes.
‘It talks about oneness of God’
“As ‘Om’ is the sacred religious symbol of Hinduism which talks about the oneness of God, let’s protect this oneness peacefully for the progressive and positive face of Pakistan. Let’s appeal to the authorities concerned to take notice of the matter immediately to override any expected mistrust within the locals,” the Pakistan Hindu Seva has said in a separate statement.
Local newspapers have reported that similar shoes were also being sold in some other places of the southern Sindh province, where a majority of the Pakistani Hindus reside.