Cleric found guilty in blasphemy case

Published Sep 23, 2012 03:54am

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Rao Abdul Rahim, counsel of the complainant Malik Ummad told Dawn that the police under pressure implicated Imam Jadoon in the case and exonerated the Christian girl. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The investigation officer (IO) in the blasphemy case exonerated the minor Christian girl from the main allegation and declared Imam Khalid Jadoon as the prime accused.

The IO, Munir Hussain Jaffery, sub-inspector Police Station Ramna, however, irked the district attorney Islamabad, Mehfooz Paracha who wrote a dissenting note on the challan and expressed reservations over the IO.

In the much awaited challan of the blasphemy case submitted in the court of duty, magistrate Abbas Shah, the IO explained five reasons for declaring Imam Jadoon as the main accused.

The challan said that Imam Jadoon ripped two pages from the Holy Quran and mixed them in the half burnt pages of the prayer learning book.

According to the challan Imam Jadoon was the real blasphemer because he was a Muslim, an educated person, religious scholar and was the cleric of a mosque and was fully aware of the sanctity of the pages of the Quran.

The challan said that the minor Christian girl was mentally weak and uneducated and was not able to distinguish between the papers of the holy book or ordinary literature.

The challan pointed out that in their statements recorded on September 13, two female witnesses — Tasleem Akhtar and Mehreen Noor —  of the area Mehra Jaffer where the incident took place, disclosed that the minor girl with another girl was going to throw ashes of fire-wood and pages, which they used in the stove as fuel.

The investigation officer also said that during the examination of the evidence, he found ashes of fire-wood and dry grass along with burnt pages of the prayer book, which means that the Christian family was using them in their stove and not deliberately disrespecting the pages.

The statement of Hafiz Zubair, an eye witness of the blasphemy case, who exposed the Imam, also incorporated this information in the challan.

There are at least three witnesses who claimed that they personally observed the Imam, while he was mixing the pages of Quran in the evidence to make the case more strong against the Christian girl but there was not a single direct evidence or eyewitness who claimed to have seen the minor girl burning the pages of the prayer book, the challan revealed.

Subsequently, the challan declared that there was not sufficient evidence against the girl and the name of Imam Jadoon was placed in column 3, which is for the prime accused.

District attorney Mehfooz Paracha, disagreed with the police challan and said that IO Jaffery wrongly declared him the prime accused.

In the dissenting note, he wrote in the challan, that the attorney said that IO Jaffery during the investigation created doubts over the girl and implicated Imam Jadoon.

Had Imam Jadoon inserted the pages prior to the burning of prayer pages, he would be declared as the prime accused but in present circumstances, the Imam could not be declared as the main accused.

IO Jaffery, on the other hand, insisted that the challan has been prepared after thorough investigation and he alleged that the district attorney was supporting the accused.

In a separate report submitted to the sessions’ court, IO Jaffery pointed out that being the district attorney the job of Mr Paracha was to argue the case of state and prosecution but apparently he was supporting the main accused, Imam Khalid Jadoon.

The report said that attorney Paracha during the scrutiny of the challan misbehaved with the IO and said that the investigation was incorrect as the IO wrongly implicated Imam Jadoon.

The attorney also used the word, “liar” and “incompetent” for the IO, a miscellaneous report of IO Jaffery added.

 

He said the role of investigation officer is doubtful and he would challenge the challan before the trial court.

District and sessions judge Islamabad, on Monday would take up this matter again.


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