Mob attacks girl wearing dress printed in Arabic calligraphy; woman police officer saves her

PTI, Feb 27, 2024, 10:46 AM IST

Lahore: A 17-year-old girl was saved by a woman police officer in Pakistan’s cultural capital Lahore from an angry mob that accused her of blasphemy after mistaking the Arabic calligraphy printed on her dress for verses from the Quran, police said on Monday.

The mob surrounded the girl who was wearing the dress with Arabic calligraphy printed on it in Lahore’s garments market (Ichhra Bazaar) on Sunday afternoon, police said.

Assistant Superintendent Police (ASP) Lahore Shehr Bano said that when the girl entered a shop a customer objected to her dress, claiming that it was bearing Quranic verses.

“More people started gathering there and demanded the shopkeeper to hand over the girl to them. The shopkeeper sheltered her in the shop informing the charged mob that it was just an Arabic calligraphy print as the girl and had not insulted the religion of Islam and holy verses of the Quran,” she said.

Meanwhile, another shopkeeper informed the police, who rushed to the spot.

Led by ASP Shehr Bano police reached there and tried to persuade the mob that the girl had not committed blasphemy.

Allegations of blasphemy have resulted in public lynching in several incidents in Pakistan in the past.

ASP Shehr Bano entered the shop along with other policemen and rescued her. A video of the incident went viral on social media. Another video clip showed the girl hiding in a shop, shivering with fear of being attacked by the mob.

Shehr Bano said the meaning of one of the words ‘Halwa’ written in Arabic calligraphy on the girl’s dress was “sweet.”

Celebrities have called Shehr Bano a real hero who saved the woman and led her to a safe place under her protection.

The Punjab police has nominated Shehr Bano for the Quaid-e-Azam Police Medal – the highest gallantry award for law enforcement in Pakistan.

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