An unknown suspect defiled holy books, religious symbols and the inscribed names of revered personalities in a mosque located in Karachi’s Steel Town area, police said on Saturday.
Steel Town SHO Farrukh Shaharyar said that an unknown suspect broke the door of the Hazrat Salman Farsi mosque, managed by the Shia community, early Friday morning.
The suspect defiled the names of the family of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) inscribed and placed inside the mosque within a frame. He also knocked over and damaged cabinets and shelves where religious books, including the Holy Quran, had been kept, damaged the ceremonial seat of the khateeb (sermon deliverer) and removed a wall clock.
When the muezzin arrived to give the call for the Fajr prayer on Friday morning, he saw that the place had been broken into and informed the police.
Senior police officers, including Malir in charge senior superintendent of police, Farrukh Raza, subsequently visited the mosque.
SHO Shaharyar said the mosque is being run by the Steel Mills administration and its muezzin, khateeb and others are also employees of the Mills.
A case was registered by the police on the complaint of the khateeb, Maulana Hasan Raza, under Section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs),and 295-B (defiling, etc. of Holy Quran) of the Pakistan Penal Code along with Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997.
SHO Shaharyar said that an investigation has been launched and that the police are treating it as a terror case as well.
“Terror charges were invoked because the police believe the suspect through these acts had tried to trigger violence,” he said, adding that nothing was reported stolen from the mosque.
He said the police’s forensic team has collected fingerprints from the site and believe that there was only one person involved in the act.