Pakistani teen cuts off own hand after accusation of blasphemy

By Shawn Price  |  Jan. 19, 2016 at 4:18 AM
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LAHORE, Pakistan, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old Pakistani boy cut off his own hand after he misheard a cleric's question, police say.

Mohammed Anwar, from a small village about 75 miles from Lahore, was at a sermon when he misheard the question of cleric Shabbir Ahmed. Media reports differ, but the cleric either asked all those who stopped praying or all those who do not love the Prophet Muhammad to raise their hand.

Anwar mistakenly raised his hand.

The cleric accused him of blasphemy. The teen went home and cut off one of his hands and brought it back to Ahmed on a plate.

Police arrested the cleric for inciting violence under the country's anti-terror National Action Plan, but the teen's action made him a hero in his village, police chief Nausher Ali told CNN.

Pakistan's blasphemy laws date back to 1947 and make it a crime to insult religious beliefs. Punishment can be a jail sentence or the death penalty. But the laws are widely criticized for being abused and stirring religious violence.

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