Pakistan: Amanat Masih charged under blasphemy on instigation of influential Muslim landlords in village Nabi Pur of Punjab province.


Sheikhupura; March 27, 2007: A Christian named Amanat Masih aged 45; resident of Village Nabi Pur Virkan District Sheikhupura has been booked under Blasphemy law on March 23, 2007.

He is reportedly accused for burning Quranic papers on asking of Liaqat Ali. Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan SLMP, team consisting on three members Sohail Johnson Chief Coordinator and Shahzad Kamran field officer and Zahid Daniel met Zohera Bibi aged 43, wife of Amanat Masih. Zohera Bibi told SLMP " that she has three sons named as Waris 26, Delawer 24, Baber 22 and one daughter named as Rukhsana aged 20" Zohera Said " She is housemaid, working in the houses of Muslims. Her husband Amanat and three sons are laborer" She added " There are some Muslim fellows of Jutt cast are very powerful in the village. They have strong hold over local police. Villagers often approach Jutts in case of any sort of problem but Amanat always denied Jutts influence upon him. Such behavior of Amanat Masih annoyed Jutts as they feel keen sense of pleasure when poor people depend on them. They also wanted Amanat to depend on them" Zohera Bibi also told SLMP team members that in the month of September 2005 her son Waris was implicated into a theft case. Jutts were involved to implicate Waris in theft case. They were expecting Amanat Masih to beg for help to release his son but Amanat did not do the same. Amanat managed all by him and Waris was released in late January. Zohera told to SLMP team, "On 23rd March 2007 about 150 Muslims attacked on my house. The attackers clutched Amanat Masih and tortured him severely. They were shouting on Amanat Masih that he has torn out papers from Quran and to burn them." Zohera Bibi further told, "Muslims grabbed the sum of 50,000 (Pak Rupees) which she saved for her daughter marriage." Afterwards they handed Amanat Masih to the local police. Police got case registered vide First Information Report (FIR) No. 277 dated 23 March 2007, offence under section 295-B with police station Factory Area Sheikhupura. Translation of FIR FIR No. 277 Date: 23 March 2007 Police Station: Factory Area District Sheikhupura Time of Occurrence: 2:15 A.M Offence under Section: 295-B/109 Name & residence of Complainant: Qaser Mehmood son of Haji Amanat Ali resident of Nabi Pur Virkan District Sheikhupura. To, The Station House Officer (SHO), Factory Area Police Station, Sheikhupura, Respected Sir, It is requested that I am residing at Nabi Pur Virkan and a harvester. Today after Friday prayer at about 2:15 A.M, I along with Molvi Mehmood Ahmed cleric son of Mohammed Shareef cast Khokher, Abdul Mojeed son of Shah Mohammad, Munawer Hussain son of Ghulam Rasool, Amir Shehzad son of Karamat Ali, Chauhdry Abbas Ali Numberdaar son of Aziz Ahmed Numberdaar, Ghulam Rasool son of Mushtaq Ahmed cast Virk all resident of village (aforesaid) were present in the mosque meanwhile Khawer Sajaad son of Abdul Majeed cast Virk resident of village (aforesaid), holding some torn Quranic papers, in Arabic language, in his right hands came to us and told that these paper he found spread in the market. We went out from mosque to testify and found some more Quranic papers in the market and street which collected. During search we found a cover of a Quranic book from in front of the house of Amanat Masih son of Anwer Masih resident of village (aforesaid) in the street. Cover was titled as "Figri Majmua-O- Wazaif Illama Alam Fiqri. Some Surahs and verses were also present in the cover. All the paper were torn, some were burnt which have been collected and took into possession. According to circumstances we entered Amanat's house and found some pieces of verses of Quranic papers. Amanat was found suspicious so we caught and search him and found some more Quranic paper from his shirt's front pocket. On more investigating Amanat Masih revealed that his wife Shamim has fled away from his house and for her return by magic Peer Liaqat Ali asked him to do this. He on advising Liaqat Ali, torn out all paper from Fiqri Majmoa Wazaif, some papers his burnt and some thrown into street and market and some papers he buried in the ground under his cupboard. We, to witness, check the place under his cupboard and found some Quranic papers, some pieces of papers and two Taveez (draft of religious verses to rule over divine spirits) buried over there which we collected and took into our possession. As accused Amanat on advising a person named Liaqat, torn out the Quranic papers from Fiqri Majmua Wazaif and to burn them and to throw them into market and streets and to buried them under his cupboard, committed a heinous sin. Destroyed Quranic papers and Fiqri Majmua Waziaf along with application is presented Please take legal Action. Complainant Qaser Mehmood. Police also arrested Liaqat Ali and sent both Amanat and Liaqat to District Jail Sheikhupura. Zohera Bibi asked SLMP team not to visit her because the opponents are very aggressive they might be cause harm to the team members. She told SLMP team that another team from some human rights organization came to her and Muslims threatened them for having any connection with Zohera. Zohera is also much concerned about her daughter Rukhsana because she feels her daughter is not safe over there.

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