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Blasphemy case: IGP records girl’s statement

Pakistani residents gather outside the house of a Christian girl, who was arrested on charges of blasphemy. — AFP Photo
Pakistani residents gather outside the house of Rimsha, who was arrested on charges of blasphemy. — AFP File Photo

RAWALPINDI:  In a latest development in the ongoing blasphemy saga, involving a minor girl suffering from Down syndrome, a police team led by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad, Bani Amin visited Central Jail Adiala on Wednesday and recorded a fresh statement of the girl, Dawn has learnt.

The police officers remained with the Christian girl for more than an hour and recorded her statement in connection with the blasphemy case.

The source said the Christian girl who had been languishing in the prison since she was arrested and sent to jail, recorded her fresh statement with the police in which she denied all of the charges levelled against her.

The source said, the girl in her statement told the police that she was at home and boiling tea when she saw a plastic bag hanging in the courtyard of her house.

She said in her statement that she saw a few papers inscribed in the Arabic script — and because she cannot read and write the script, therefore for her the script could have meant Urdu or Persian.

As it is common practice in the locality, where there is no gas, people use twigs and paper to burn in the stove to cook food; she too put the papers into the stove.

She further said later she along with her little sister aged between 4 and 5 and a friend from her neighbourhood walked out of her home and upturned the stove in order to clean it.

The Christian girl in her statement said while she was cleaning the stove, the son of the owner of her home (landlord’s son) standing outside and looking towards the girl, started shouting on seeing them throwing some burnt papers. She said the boy inquired from her younger sister that who had burnt those papers; she replied that it was her sister.

On hearing her reply, the boy started shouting which caught attention of the people in the surrounding areas who gathered there.

On seeing a large number of people gathered outside, the girl went inside her home and locked herself in the bathroom, she said in her statement recorded with the police.

She said she never knew who had brought the plastic bag inside her house and what was in it.

Whereas, Hammad Malik, the complainant of the case, had already claimed that the pages of the Holy Quran were lying in the plastic bag.

However, the police have decided to investigate the neighbour, Hammad Malik, who had filed the original complaint against her.

The girl’s bail proceedings will be held on Friday September 7.

Besides, the Christian girl, Mohammad Khalid Jadoon, Imam of Mehar Jaffar mosque is also in jail, since Sunday.

He will be produced before the court of magistrate on September 16.

The Imam Masjid was arrested by police on Sunday for allegedly desecrating the Holy Quran, after the prayer caller of his mosque, Hafiz Mohammad Zubair, testified before a magistrate that he saw him putting two pages of the Holy Quran into one of the two plastic bags seized from the girl to strengthen charges against her.