Sohail Johnson, Chief Coordinator, SLMP, issues report of 1st January visit of District Jail Faisalabad

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Arrival: 10:30pm
Departure: 03:00pm
Superintendent: Chaudhry Ghulam Dustgeer Khan
Deputy Superintendent: Hafiz Aziz Ullah
Chief Head Warden: Mohammad Latif
Muslim Preacher: Haji Sanah Ullah
Capacity of Prisoners: 1000
Present number of the prisoners: 2030
Christian Prisoners: 50
Christian Women Prisoners: Nil
Christian Prisoners under Age: Nil
Christian Prisoners in Death Cells: NIL

SLMP team started his journey to District Jail Faisal Abad at 06:30am on 1st January 2005. Team reached the jail at 10:30am. It was heavy rain on the New Year day. Weather was not pleasant and it was raining from Lahore to Faisal abad.

When team reached the jail, Pastor of SLMP Faisal Abad Unit was waiting for the team. One of the team members showed permission letter to the guard who went in the jail having permission letter. After about ½ hour the guard came out asked team member to be entered the jail. Jail staff checked all the team members keenly. Entities of Christmas Blessings were taken into the custody of jail staff for scanning. While entities were being scanned all the team members were requested to stay at Superintendent's office. After ½ hour jail staff brought entities in the office of Superintendent after scanning. Superintendent ordered to Muslim preacher to check the entities again. Muslim preacher checked entities keenly and afterwards team was permitted to enter the jail. Head Warden led the team members to the hospital of the jail.

It was very strange for SLMP team that Christian prisoners were gathered at the small veranda of hospital. It was almost open place. As it is already described that weather was not good. It was very cold and rainy day and jail management did not give the Christian prisoners a proper place for prayer. Some prisoner became drenched with rainwater. It is also came into team's knowledge that some Christian prisoners did come for prayer due to weather.

In spite of facing cold and rain Christian prisoners warmly welcomed team members. Most of the prisoners were new to Sharing Life Ministry and other are known by team. The prisoners who are already getting support were also present. Chief Coordinator introduced SLMP team and his work. After due introduction and exchange of greetings, Chief Coordinator started share words of God as under;

Message:

Luke 8:40-58
Let us see in the Bible how God loves us and cares us. When we walk in the God and have thirst of his love, He opens His heavenly bliss upon His people. Let us see how great our Lord is and how can He convert impossible things into possible?

Let us see in the Bible Luke 8:40-58

"Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting Him. Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the Synagogue, came and fells at Jesus' feet pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on His way, the crowd almost crushed Him. A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind Him and touched edge of His cloak and immediately her bleeding stopped. "Who touched me" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master the people are crowding and pressing against You". But Jesus said, " some one touched me; I know that power has gone out from me". Then the woman, saying that could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. "Go and peace" While Jesus was still speaking some one came from the house of Jairus, synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is died". He said. "Don't bother the teacher anymore". Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, " Don't be afraid, just believe and she will be healed". When He arrived at the house of Jairus, He did not let any one go with Him except Peter, John and James and the child's father and mother. Meanwhile, and the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing", Jesus said. "She is not dead but asleep". They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But He took her by hand and said, "My child, get up!" Her spirit returned and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her some thing to eat. Her parents were astonished, but He ordered them not to tell any one what had happened.

Jesus raised a young girl from dead she was Jairus' daughter. Jesus had compassion for Jairus. He saw how Jairus was crying for his daughter. Jesus went to see that young girl to Jairus' house and raised that girl and soon after she was raised, Jesus asked the family members to give her something to eat.
Jesus felt that she was very weak she needed energy. Look how caring He is. Jesus loves us all. He is still very caring for our needs and our hunger. He is compassionate and He loves to fill us with eternal love and eternal peace.

We see in the Bible Mathew 15:32
"Jesus called his disciples to him and said " I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way". This is the love of Jesus Christ for the people who had been following three days. Jesus felt their hunger. He thought about their spiritual and physical needs. It shows His love and care. Although the disciples were unhappy and they felt themselves helpless for they could not arrange the food for such a big crowd. But Jesus asked His disciples to feed the crowd because Jesus could see what His disciples could not see. Jesus knew that by faith it wasn't impossible to feed such a crowd. Jesus knew that there was no hotel and restaurant around and those people including women, young kids and old people were after Jesus for last three days and nights.

So Jesus took the bread and the fish that were available there and blessed that food. You see that those few loaves of bread and some fish fed more than four thousand people. Jesus cared for those people that were following Him for three days only. See any of us are following Him for years and years and still we think that God is unaware of our problems, needs and hunger. But let me tell you, He is very concerned about our pains and problems. He wants to get us out of them. It depends on how do we call Him to solve our problems. He is full of compassion, He can't see His sons and daughters into troubles but He just waits for us to call on to Him.


Chief Coordinator asked the prisoners who are getting already in the monthly support list to come in front and get their Christmas Blessing gift. Aforesaid prisoners came in front and Chief Coordinator distributed Christmas Blessings gifts among them. They thank SLMP team for the visit and gifts. Other prisoners were also motivated to turn their lives to God and begin their lives with the help of Holy Spirit.


Statements

1) Adil s/o Allah Rakha
Age: 24
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Bonded Laborer
Case No: 949/03
Offence: 392/411
Police Station: Jhumra Faisal Abad
Address: Chak No. 115 Jeem Bay Diyal Garh Burnala Road Faisal Abad

"I used to work at brick kiln of Mohammad Khalid Arrain along with my family. One day my owner asked me that he has to go Sangla Hill and let me drive the car. I accepted his request and went with him. I was driving car. When we were in the way to Sangla Hill there was a check post in the way. Police stopped the car and checked us. Suddenly police arrested my owner and me by saying that this car is stolen. I told the police that Mohammad Khalid is my owner and this car belongs to him but Mohammad Khalid suddenly said, "I don't know who he is. I just got lift from him to Sangla Hill". He gave some money to police and fled away. I tried my level best to explain the reality to the police that I work at the brick kiln of Mohammad Khalid and he asked me to go with him to Sangla Hill. But police did not listen me. It is came into my knowledge afterwards that my owner had a business to buy the stolen cars and sale to in other cities. Police lodged FIR against me and sent to the jail while I am innocent. I did not steal any car".


2) Jadoon Masih s/o Mahnga Masih
Age: 27
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Meson
Case No. 551/05
Offence: 337-A/148, 324
Police Station: Civil Line
Address: Chak No. 130 Ray Bay Faisal Abad

"I was residing at Chak No 130. There was Christian lady named Shakeela who had a dispute with Muslim men regarding money. One day a quarrel arose between Muslim men and Shakeela Bibi. Muslim men tortured Shakeela Bibi. I was also present there. I tried to help Shakeela Bibi, as she is Christian and a woman. Muslim men beat me too. Shakeela moved an application against Muslim men and FIR registered. In the FIR I was witness of the occurrence. Police arrested the culprits but afterwards they filed bail petitions and released. After some months when trial was started in the session court judge summoned me appear in the court for evidence. 7th December 2005 was the date of hearing. I went to the court for evidence but when I was just in the courtyard of the court suddenly lawyer of our opponents captured me started beating me. That Muslim also came and started beating me. They took me to the police station and got FIR registered against me. Police sent me to the jail on 29th December 2005".

3) Nadeem s/o Nazar
Age: 28
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Laborer
Case No: 358/05
Offence: 292 PPC
Police Station: Factory Area
Address: Chak No 222 St. No. 6 Near Church Maqsood Abad Faisal Abad

"About ten years ago I was watching a movie along with my friends. Police raided and arrested all of us and got FIR registered. Afterwards I got released on bail. When trial was started I have been appear in the court. On day reader of the judge asked me to give Rs.500 and he will wind up the case because it is a minor offence. I gave 500 rupees to the reader of the court and stop appearing the court. I did not receive any summon by the court for about ten years but now after ten years police arrested me by saying that you I am absconder of ten years previous case. Police arrested me and sent to the jail on 29th December 2005. My family did not know that I am in the jail. I belong to very poor family. Kindly help me I can not contact with my family".

4) Javaid Masih s/o Boota Masih
Age: 22
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Laborer
Case No: 30/05
Offence: 337
Police Station: Kotwali Faisal Abad
Address: Daud Nagar H/No 123 St. No. 8 near Chhota Malkan wala Road Faisal Abad

"My sister got married and was living with her in-laws. About one year ago I went to my sister to visit her. When I was there a quarrel arose between my sister's husband and some of his neighbors. His opponents got case registered against my sister; her husband and me while did not participated in quarrel. My sister and her husband moved bail application and got released while I did not do so because police declared me innocent. When trial of the case was started I did not appear in the court because police already declared me innocent. Now about one year later police arrested me by saying that I should have appeared in the court. I did not do so and court declared me absconder. Now I have to face the trial. They sent me behind the bars on 29th December 2005


5) Sabar Masih s/o Sardat Masih
Age: 45
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Laborer
Case No: N/A
Offence: 13/20/65
Police Station: People's Colony Faisal Abad
Address: Chak No. 214 Ray Bay St. No 7 Mohallah Yousaf Abad Faisal Abad.

"On 29th December 2005 I was standing in front of my house, suddenly police van came and captured me. Police took me to the police station and tortured me. I was quite unaware about my fault. My neighbors came to police station to defend me but police did not give them response. I did nothing wrong but police got FIR registered against me by accusing me for having illegal weapon and sent me to the jail".

6) Imran s/o Rafeeq
Age: 22
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Painter
Case No: N/A
Offence: 13/20/65
Police Station: People's Colony Faisal Abad
Address: Chak No. 213 St No. 1 Mohallah Yousaf Abad Faisal Abad

"On 18th December 2005 I was coming back to my house after buying medicine for my mother. Suddenly police arrested me and started searching me. They took 350 rupees from my pocket. They further snatched my mother's medicine and accused me that I am habitual of having intoxication. I told them it is my mother's medicine and they can verify from my home but they took me to the police station and got FIR registered of having illegal weapon. They sent me to the jail on 29th December 2005.

7) Afzal s/o Rufin
Age: 25
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Laborer
Case No: 712/05
Offence: 302/324, 452/337 FI
Police Station: Saddar Faisal Abad
Address: Chak No. 225 Ray Bay Malkhan Wala Faisal Abad

"One of my relatives named Ruth Bibi got married with a guy named Zahid Masih s/o Gulzar Masih about 2 years prior. It was her second marriage because she was already married with my cousin named Maqsood Masih and from Maqsood she has 2 sons named Khurram aged 20 and Shan Masih aged 9 years".

It is pertinent to mention here that Ruth got married with Zahid after embracing Islam under Muslim rites.

He further said, "After marriage she started living with Zahid and gave birth a baby son. When her son reached 6 months, he got expired. Ruth and Zahid buried the son in the Christian's graveyard and in the deaths record, Ruth Bibi registered Maqsood's name in the column of father's name.
Khurram had grudge with his mother for her second marriage. He quarreled with his mother that why did she buried the son in Christian's graveyard while she has embraced Islam. Moreover why didn't she register Zahid's name in the column of father's name in deaths record.
During exchange of hot words between Ruth and Khurram, Ruth Bibi teased Khurram by saying "You are not your father's son, your actual father is a Muslim man" she abused him.
On this Khurram became much anguish and opened fire on Ruth Bibi with his uncle's gun. I was also present there and seeing all the matter. Zahid also got injury on his arm. When Khurram opened fire on his mother she got injury on her left leg. Our relatives took her to the hospital and after about one month she got expired.
Zahid moved application in the local police station against Khurram and me. I admitted that I was there but I did not support Khurram in his quarrel.
When Ruth got married with Zahid all of our relatives condemn her. I also condemn her for her second marriage but by the passage of time everything was settled and life was going smooth. Now Zahid pointed my name just because of previous grudge. I am innocent and did not attribute any role in the murder of Ruth Bibi"

After pray, distributing gifts and collecting facts of the cases SLMP team came out to return.

Remarks

Jail staff was not cooperative to SLMP team. They did not arranged proper place for prayer meeting.

Christian prisoners want religious guidance. Thirst to knowing God in Christian prisoners is strongly felt. On the other hand they don't have opportunity to learn more about religion. There is not any proper place for their gathering and sharing the words of God so that they can learn from each other. It is their essential need to give them proper place for worship.

Psychological pressure of fear of jail staff and other Muslim prisoners is also felt in Christian prisoners. As one of the Christian prisoners said to a team member that jail staff and Muslim always tease Christian prisoners for being Christian. Muslim prisoners always disgrace Christian prisoners just because they are Christian. Jail staff support Muslim prisoners and they always condemn Christian prisoners either are on right standing or not.

There are not death cells in District Jail Faisal Abad.

In this the visit it is observed that most of the Christian prisoners sent to the jail at the end of the year 2005. Actually police has to complete their number of cases and send their progress report to their high officers. That's why police registered false cases just to complete their record. Police lodged FIRs of minor offences. Most of the cases' complainants are police officers. They just arrest innocent citizen and lodge FIR without any evidence. This lawlessness caused very harmful consequents. When an innocent citizen suffered in undeserved punished and pushed to criminal people from his family members. Obviously he got bitter experiences of his life to get awareness about criminology. Afterwards when he comes out from the jail, he faces changed behavior of society. Then he loses his prestige in the society and it caused him to create grudge in his heart for society and he begins to fulfill this grudge by doing criminal activities.

Chief Coordinator directed the SLMP's pastor Faisal Abad unit to increase his visits to Christian prisoners in the jail.

SLMP team wants to arrange Bible course in District jail Faisal Abad. SLMP also planed to do something for prayer rooms in the jails.



Reported by

Sohail Johnson
Chief Coordinator
Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan.

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