April 22, 1998
HYDERABAD, April 21: A court here on Tuesday sentenced a doctor to 10-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs10,000 for “tampering” with census documents.
Saleem Ahmed, the judge of an anti-terrorism court, found Dr Naseer Ahmed Sheikh, said to be a Qadiani, guilty of entering ‘Qadiani’ as the religion of 23 persons who had, according to the prosecution story, acquired his services to fill up the census forms. He would have to undergo another one-year imprisonment if he failed to pay the fine, the judge ordered.
One of the 23 residents of Badin concerned and identified as Allu, had lodged an FIR against the doctor at Shaheed Fazil Rahu police station on March 8, saying that the doctor had wrongly stated in the religion section of his census form that he (Allu) was a Qadiani.
The complainant said he and the other 22 people had acquired Dr Naseer’s help in filling out the forms because they were illiterate.
The police arrested Dr Naseer on March 15 and charge-sheeted him on March 21.
Seven witnesses were examined in the case after which the judge found the doctor guilty of “spreading religious hatred” and announced the verdict.