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Blasphemy case: Accused to write her statement in jail

LAHORE: A school principal accused of blasphemy has been remanded in judicial custody for another four days, during which time she will get the chance to write down her statement in response to an allegation that she claimed to be a prophet.

Jail authorities produced Salma Tanveer before Judicial Magistrate Shaukat Javed Khan on Tuesday, asking that her remand be extended so that an expert could examine her handwriting and compare it to allegedly blasphemous notes that she has been accused of distributing among residents of Nishtar Colony. Tanveer is principal of the Umar School System in the area.

The magistrate provided the accused three pieces of paper and instructed her to write something down so that her handwriting could be analysed. Tanveer did so. She protested that the police were not recording her statement.

Police officials present in the court said that they had recorded her statement and read it out.

The magistrate asked her whether this was her statement, to which she replied that it was only a part of it. She said that when she sought to tell the complete story, police interrogators had told her they were not interested in the details.

The judge said that she would get the chance to write her complete version of events. He directed the jail superintendent to provide her pen and paper on which to do so and submit the statement to the court at the next hearing on September 21. He observed that the police must write down whatever the accused wished to be recorded.

Tanveer also stated that she had not committed blasphemy and had been falsely accused by a cleric who had a grudge against her.

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