Naja Masih a 60 years old cleaner working at the Special Education School for the blind in Bahwalpur has been arrested by the police on the charges of blasphemy.
Naja Masih lives with his wife Nargis bibi and his children Yaqoob Masih 30 , Ashraf Masih 28, Anwar Masih 24 years and Sunny Masih 26 at Shahd basti in Bahawalpur.
According to the police sources Masih was accused of Blasphemy under section 295 A, and FIR Number 404/14 has been registered against him. Shahid Mehmood the complainant claims that he owns a barber shop and Masih after his work use to come and visit him, they talked about different things.
On 23rd August 2014, Masih came to Mehmood and they talked about religion and a debate started about the comparison between Bible and Quran, and Masih explained about prophet Lut in the Bible, Mehmood got furious and called the police and filed a complaint that Masih defied Quran and had committed Blasphemy , the police arrested Masih, without informing the family they shifted him to an undisclosed location to keep him safe due to the fear of a possible attack on him in the village.
The family started looking for Masih as he did`nt come home they were told that the police had taken their father to the police station. Despite several attempts the police didn’t cooperate with the family and refused to let them meet their father.
A human rights organization based in Lahore responded and posted Masih`s bail on Friday at the High Court, the court asked the police to submit the report. Regional Police Officer Bahawalpur Tahir Mehmood Ejaz directed the police to let the family have a meeting with their Father.
Masih`s sons had to leave the village and are forced to live in hiding. Nargis Bibi said, » When I met my husband, he was devastated and had no idea what had happened, he wasn`t assaulted, but has been threatened by the people living in the village, we are from an impoverished family, we have never done any harm to anyone, we have done nothing wrong and we pray for help.»
The High Court today rejected Masih`s appeal for bail and ordered the police to ensure that the report is submitted in two days.
Human Rights organization Life For All Pakistan has condemned the incident and are stressing on the authorities to ensure justice is served and concrete steps are taken to stop the abuse of the blasphemy laws. A statement was issued by the organization, » Naja Masih who had never even heard of the blasphemy law is accused and faces charges, he doesn`t even know what he did. The marginalized communities have been suffering in the name of the Blasphemy laws.
This is indeed heartbreaking that a man of 60 years who is struggling and hardly able to make both ends meet for his family is accused of committing blasphemy, our sources have confirmed that this is a false accusation Masih has been framed. We urge the authorities to step in and ensure the safety of this family who is forced to flee from their home town. We pray for the persecuted in the name of religion. »
Life For All Pakistan