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Six culprits in stoning case identified

July 08, 2002

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FAISALABAD, July 7: A special police team has reportedly identified six persons who were mainly responsible for instigating the mob to stone the blasphemy accused, Zahid Shah, in Chak Jhumra.

A senior police officer requesting anonymity told this scribe here on Sunday that President Pervez Musharraf and Governor Khalid Maqbool had taken serious notice of the Chak Jhumra incident and asked the police that the accused involved in this tragic crime should not be spared at any cost.

He said three teams of the police and other intelligence agencies were given a task to identify the miscreants who had led or provoked the mob.

Source also revealed that Pesh Imam Maulvi Faqir Ahmed, who had issued the decree (Fatwa) against Zahid Shah, and five others, who dragged him out of his house, were identified as the main culprits.

However, the major instigator, Maulvi Faqir Ahmed, could not be arrested.

“Special police commandos in plainclothes have been deputed who are watching the accused, and they can be picked at any movement. The secrecy of this action is being kept to avoid reaction from the villagers,” source said.

In the meanwhile, Chak Jhumra Police Station confirmed that a police team had brought back the body of Zahid from Madina Town, Faisalabad, before burial and got conducted the postmortem from area’s Tehsil Headquarter Hospital.

The police also told Dawn that over 50 wounds by iron rods, sticks and stones were found on Zahid’s body including in the head, chest, face, legs, arms. The cause of death was said to be excessive bleeding.

Family members of Zahid Shah have not yet lodged a formal complaint of the incident and identified the culprits fearing a reaction from the villagers who were still in a charged and threatening mood.