69 years old Christian accused of blasphemy free on bail
18 May 2017
Lahore: May 18, 2017. (PCP) Mukhtar Masih a 69 years old man held accused of Blasphemy charges under sections 295-A and 298 PPC upon property matters. The SHO of the relevant police station Cantt Gujaranwala named Gohar Abbas is the Complainant of this case himself which is very unusual and rare act of the Police.
On 28th of January at about 9:30pm the Police attacked the house of Mukhtar Masih while everyone at his home were sleeping, they started beating the door relentlessly and broke the door. They went inside the house while everyone was awake. The police asked about Mukhtar Masih, when he came out of his room the police caught him and slapped him gravely. The police also caught Anjum the elder son of Mukhtar Masih and tortured him as well in front of Mukhtar Masih just to pressurize him to accept the charges against him. Previously they did not told them anything and took them in the sitting room of the Local counsellor named Mehr Latif. There were some other people present in the room. The police present both father and son in front of them and they decided and agreed that they are the accused. The people present in the sitting room of Mehr Latif were Qari Shahbaz, Muhammad Anwar, Tariq Hussain, Muhammad Mansha, Dr. Mushtaq Masih, Aftab Bhatti and Muhammad Ashraf among many others whom Anjum Mukhtar couldn’t recognize. They all agreed upon the same story of Blasphemy and let the police take both Anjum and Mukhtar to the police station. In the police station the police threatened Mukhtar Masih to accept his charge against him otherwise the family and son of Mukhtar will be in big trouble and they also assured him that the police is very much able to do the encounters of people who comes in the charges of Blasphemy. After two days the police released Anjum while they sent Mukhtar Masih to the Jail for the judicial investigation.
The younger son of Mukhtar Masih named Griffen contacted The Voice Society through some source and talked to the Project manager Mr. Shahid Anthony about his case and problem in detail. Shahid called him in the office and Griffen along with his uncle came to the Voice’s office and discussed his case with the Voice team. He also requested the Chief Executive of the Voice for legal help and also for the safety because the villagers were very much against the family. The Voice team agreed to help them and Griffen brought his brother and other family members to the Voice’s office for the safe shelter. The Voice team comprised of Adv. Aneeqa Maria, Mr. Shahid Anthony and Mr. Napolean Qayyum along with Griffen Masih went to see Mukhtar Masih in Jail for special meeting at Gujaranwala District jail. They met Mukhtar Masih and found out the he was in mental trauma and was sick. The only thing he said was, I am innocent, I haven’t done anything. This is all a conspiracy against me to grab my property. The Voice team also visited the village and the Police station. The story behind this all conspiracy is that the people nominated in the FIR wanted to grab the property of Mukhtar Masih which is just a 5 Marlas Plot in the village. Many a times they wanted to convince me, Said Mukhtar to sell my property upon the rates which are favourable to them and are not in accordance with the measurements and property value. Mukhtar has always refused and meanwhile they also threatened Mukhtar about the bad luck of him and about the upcoming hardships. Now the FIR (first information report) says that, 1. Qari Shahbaz, 2. Muhammad Anwar, 3. Tariq Hussain, 4. Muhammad Mansha, 5. Dr. Mushtaq Masih, 6. Aftab Bhatti and 7. Muhammad Ashraf went to the police station to the SHO and told him that they found two letters on 26th January 2017 and those letters contained the derogatory remarks against the Holy Prophet, and against the Holy Quran. The complainant i.e. the SHO Gohar Abbas did the inquiry himself and found the unfortunate Mukhtar Masih guilty of the offence and thus he registered an FIR arrested Mukhtar Masih. The FIR also states that Mukhtar Masih wrote these letters to involve Aftab Bhatti in a false case. The interesting part is that this Aftab Bhatti is now the witness in this case. However it is never stated that Mukhtar Masih wrote these letters or somebody saw Mukhtar Masih writing the letter or throwing the letters.
It is a pity that nobody knows exact facts among the witnesses and therefore they compelled SHO Gohar Abbas to be the complainant of the FIR, the tragedy is that the police in submission of this crime have not only supported the culprits but also became a party in that offence due to which the poor old man can also lose his life. The Voice took up the case and will do all the legal proceedings in accordance with law. The Voice is strived for justice against discrimination and injustice for the poor and helpless.
The Voice filed a Bail application in the Court of Ms. Munaza Shabir Abbasi on 29th -04-2017 after the Challan/Police investigation was submitted before the Honorable court on 29th-04-2017. The arguments were heard and recorded by the Court on 04-05-2017, and finally the bail was granted after two hearings on 16th May 2017. The next date fixed for hearing for the trial is 20th May 2017. The Charge has been already framed by the Court, it is pertinent to mention here that Mukhtar Masih is very sick and is hospitalized. Please keep him in your prayers.