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400 Pakistan girls protest over closure of school

Lahore, November 4, 2012, PTI: 22:46 IST

Some 400 girls joined a demonstration in this eastern Pakistani city on Saturday to protest the closure of their school by the government after the principal and a teacher were arrested on charges of blasphemy.

The demonstration was held in Karim Park near the historic Lahore Fort. A mob, including activists of hardline and extremist groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, ransacked and torched three buildings of the Farooqi Girls High School in Karim Park on October 31 after some local residents claimed the school staff had insulted Prophet Mohammed.

Police subsequently arrested Asim Farooqi, the school’s principal and owner, and a teacher named Arifa and booked them under the harsh blasphemy law.

According to a police official, a question paper set by the private school’s administration had allegedly contained “indecent” remarks about the Prophet.

The students who participated in Saturday’s protest demanded that the government should immediately reopen their school as their studies were being affected.

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