ASIA/PAKISTAN - The suspect of the lynching of two Christian spouses released on bail

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 religious minorities   persecutions   blasphemy   islam   violence  


Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - The main suspect of the double murder of the Christian couple Shahzad Masih, and Shama Bibi, burned alive by a mob of Muslims for alleged blasphemy on November 4, 2014 was released on bail. As reported to Fides by the NGO Pakistan "Lead" ("Legal Evangelical Assistance and Development"), Yousaf Gujjar, main suspect in the case of the lynching, was granted bail, although general assistant inspector of the police in Kasur, who carried out the investigation, said to the Court "if it were not for this individual, the accident would never have happened". Furthermore police officer Asi Mohammad Ali, who originally initiated the legal action against Yousaf Gujjar and three other people, then refused to indicate Gujjar as "one of the major culprits".
As verified by the police, Gujjar and the three incited the crowd to punish the two Christians accused of blasphemy.
"This reluctant attitude of the police suggests complicity and does not help do justice", notes Christian lawyer Mustaq Gill, who is closely following the case.
Yousaf Gujjar is the owner of the kiln where Shahzad and Shama were working, that kiln in which they were thrown, still alive after suffering two days of beatings and torture. The incident occurred in Kot Radha Kishan, in Kasur district. A few days later, on November 10, an anti-terrorism court ordered the detention of four people: Yousaf Gujjar and three others. At first the bail requests were rejected, now they have been accepted. The judge had strongly criticized the police’s negligence during the lynching. The Court, in the course of the investigation, indicted 106 people. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/04/2016)

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