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Pakistan: Blasphemy accused dies in police custody, family alleges torture

Press Trust of India
Dec 03, 2012 at 09:20pm IST

Lahore: A Pakistani man, arrested on charges of blasphemy, has died in police custody with his relatives alleging that he was "tortured to death". Police denied the allegations of torture and said Nadeem Yousuf, the deceased, was a drug addict and might have died due to his dependence on narcotics.

Yousuf, who was in his twenties, was detained in Nankana Sahib town of Punjab province about a week ago after he was accused of burning pages of the Quran. Police official Azhar Basra said that residents of Usmani Wala village handed over Yousuf to police.

He said Yousuf appeared to be mentally deranged and an investigation had revealed he was a drug addict. "Yousuf continued talked nonsense throughout his interrogation. So it was hard to establish anything in this regard," Basra said.

Pakistan: Blasphemy accused dies in police custody

Police denied the allegations of torture and said the accused was a drug addict and might have died due to his dependence on narcotics.

"Yesterday, his condition deteriorated, perhaps because he was not getting narcotics and he died before getting any medical aid," he said. The body had been handed over to his family without an autopsy, Basra said.

Muhammad Yousuf, Nadeem's father, said he believed his son had died after being tortured by police. "My son had not committed any blasphemy," he said.

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