We are all taught that honesty and fairness make one successful in life. But an American comedian of the 1960s had a different take on the axiom. “If you can fake it, you have got it made,” said the great actor who was a roaring success on the sitcom scene in his days.
That looks to the Islamabad police to be the story plot of the rival First Information Reports (FIRs) filed early this month by a “reporter” and a “spiritual healer”. Both accusers, however, appear to the police as dubious practitioners of their trades.
Yet Bhara Kahu police had to take notice of the FIR filed by a reporter because he charged the spiritual healer with blasphemy under PPC 295-C.
“When I recorded his interview, he committed blasphemy,” said his FIR. The reporter claimed that he had been pursuing complaints of the clients of the spiritual healer, also known as a pir, that he was an impersonator and had been befooling and blackmailing them with the help of his wife to make money.
Disappointed clients who protested, or demanded their money back, were blackmailed by the alleged confidence trickster, according to the reporter’s FIR.
When asked about the obscure organisation which he had claimed to work for, the reporter told Dawn that he had left the organisation for “a better job.” But he stuck to the statements he made in his FIR and said “the fake spiritual healer used to blackmail, threaten and beat people to mint money from them.”
“It is an allegation against me. I am not involved in it,” he said about the case filed by the spiritual healer, or pir, that the report was among the people who broke into his house and stole money.
Despite repeated attempts, the spiritual healer was not available for comments. One of his acquaintances of three years, however, told Dawn that before moving to Bhara Kahu “on the request of his followers, the holy man used to cure people of their ills and worries in Chakian”. His house is under-construction in Bhara Kahu now.
“Early in November, the complainant, with two other persons, stole Rs500,000 kept in the house for the construction of the roof,” he said.
He said the police arrested the two accomplices but the reporter remained free, though he had confessed to the theft and agreed to return his share of Rs200,000. When the police did not register a case against him, the spiritual healer sought intervention of the district and sessions court Islamabad.
In the meantime, the pir’s acquaintance claimed, the complainant met a superintendent of police and lodged an FIR against the spiritual healer “to save his skin and build pressure” on the holy man. “Now an activist of the ruling party is trying mediation to get the forged case against the spiritual healer quashed,” he said.
A police officer, however, told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that the tussle between the two started after they met some time ago. “What transpired in their meeting is still in the dark as both are hiding facts,” he added.
In the eyes of police, both men are suspect and confidence tricksters. “Why did he (reporter) visit the spiritual healer? If he came to interview the latter, why it was not published or telecast anywhere?” asked the officer.
It could be that the reporter lodged a complaint with the police just to neutralise the spiritual healer’s application to the court, the officer said, noting that the complainant did not respond to police investigators’ repeated requests to produce evidence in support of his allegations against the spiritual healer.
“That suggests he has no evidence,” said the officer.
As such, the Bhara Kahu police have decided to quash the case. Indeed, they will take legal action against the complainant for lodging a wrong complaint about a serious crime.
People misusing a law can be booked under PPC 182 which deals with false information filed with the intent of causing a public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.
Published in Dawn, December 28th, 2015