Thursday, 2 July 2015

Christian women tortured, man's head shaved, paraded on donkeys on blasphemy accusation

Shiekhupura: Sardar Mushtaq Gill , Human Rights Defender and head of LEAD was informed about the incidence of blasphemy in Chak No. 460 Makki, Farooqabad on June 30, 2015 that two Christian women named Rukhsana and Rehana living in same home as joint family were using a flex as a carpet in their home. A Muslim neighbour lady came their home and noticed the use of flex and she told that she wanted to buy it for her home which she priced 400 Pakistani Rupees, while Christian women demanded 1,000 Pakistani Rupees as its price which they had originally paid. The arguments arose among Christian women and the Muslim woman.Then she started shouting that Christian women had committed blasphemy by using that Pena Flex as a carpet, alleging that it has images of 'Holy Books and Quran Verses.

On which angry Muslim mob gathered and dragged Christian women out of home and started beating and tortured them, man's head shaved, paraded on donkeys around the village.
Reportedly these are the facts:

Rukhsana wife of Awais Qamar Alias Gareeba and Rehana wife of Ashraf Masih are the two real sisters who live together in a joint family  in Chak No. 460 Makki village. Awais Qamar is a laborer and was working in a school’s building for the renovation of school. Rukhsana and Awais have four children namely Farzana, Waqas, wickson and Sherry. Whereas Rehana have two children named Chand and Sawera.

Awais found a used flex of the school having monogram of books on it and in Arabic it was written on it (God give me knowledge). As Rukhsana, Awais and their whole family are uneducated they do not know what was written on it. Rukhsana started using that Flex as a floor Matt. On 30 June at about 8:00 am one Muslim neighbor woman Kaneez Bibi visited their home,her husband is a Milk man and he used to sell milk in the village.She noticed the floor matt and asked Rukhsana to give her the matt. Rukhsana refused to give the floor matt to her and demanded Rs. 1,000 against the matt. Kaneez said that she only had 400 Rupees and Rukhsana couldn't take milk against 600 remaining amount, but Rukhsana insisted on cash payment against the floor Matt. Kaneez Bibi agreed and she said that she would call her brother to pay Rukhsana 1,000 Rupees. Kaneez Bibi went out and called one of her brother Muhammad Nasir to the home of Rukhsana. Muhammad Nasir son of Ahmad Yar reportedly belonged to Sipa-e-sahaba group noticed the Flex lying on the floor having something in Arabic written on it. He without giving it a second thought started beating Rukhsana while Kaneez Bibi joined him and then she went out and called other people as well that Rukhsana has committed Blasphemy. Within seconds the whole village surrounded the home of Rukhsana. The Villagers also called her husband Awais; they shaved the head of Awais and started doing the same with Rukhsana and Rehana but a few of the locals intervened and asked the mob not to do this with the women.Meanwhile the whole mob blacken the faces of the three Christians i.e. Rukhsana, Rehana and Awais and put the shoes garland in their necks and forced them to sit on the donkeys and paraded them in the whole village, teasing and beating them.

Some people from the village called the Police.During this time many people outside the village belonged to Sipa-e-Sahaba reached the spot while DPO (District police officer) also reached the village with hundreds of Police men. The police took over the entire village and surrounded the village to control the situation. DPO negotiated with the local Muslims and their head cleric Qari Yaseen who agreed on this condition that both families of Rukhsana and Rehana would leave the village and would not come back again, he also agreed not to burn the village but Qari Muhammad Nasir was not agree upon the settlement and forgiveness. He insisted to kill all of them as they have insulted the Holy Quran and the verses of Quran. DPO observed the Flex and put the Flex in police’s custody. DPO also knew that it was not Quranic verses and he tried to explain this to the mob but the angry mob was not ready to listen to the DPO on any condition so he put the whole family in the Police van and took them to Sheikhupura in his police station while left hundreds of Police men in the village for the security of the other Christians.

Reportedly the concerned SHO told that there is no FIR against the said accused because there was no blasphemy. But the police will stay in the village few days for the safety of the other Christians.

It is alarming things for Government to consider the continuously misused of blasphemy laws against the poor and defenceless Christians of Pakistan and mob violence on pretexts of blasphemy laws.It is time to strictly handle the issue of misuse of blasphemy laws against religious minority particularly Christians.Law should be in motion against the responsible and justice should be prevailed in society for peace and harmony.

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