Police officials investigating a blasphemy case against Rimsha Masih submitted an interim charge-sheet on Saturday declaring cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti guilty before the trial court.
Submitting the charge-sheet, Investigation Officer Munir Jafri said that three eyewitnesses had recorded their statements against Chishti. Though District Attorney Mehfooz Paracha raised objection over the charge-sheet, he put his signature on the document.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Jafri said Rimsha appears innocent according to the charge-sheet since there is no evidence to prove the blasphemy charges against her.
“Neither the complainant, nor any eyewitness recorded a statement against her,” he added. The officer said that Hafiz Zubair, the mosque’s muezzin, had already disclosed in his statement that Chishti added some pages of the Quran to the ashes of the pages Rimsha allegedly burnt. Two other witnesses, Hafiz Awais and Khurram Shahzad, endorsed Zubair’s statement as well.
Jafri alleged that the district attorney tried to pressurise him into declaring Chishti innocent, but the former refused to do so.
The charge-sheet was submitted before District and Sessions Judge Raja Jawad Abbas due to the civil judge’s absence. The case was adjourned till September 24.
On September 7, the court had given the police a final warning against delaying the charge-sheet and directed them to submit it by September 21. The court had also granted bail to Rimsha against two surety bonds of Rs500,000 each. She was flown off to an undisclosed location upon her release from jail.
Rimsha was arrested on August 16 for allegedly burning a booklet used to familiarise children with the Arabic used in the Quran. The Ramna Police Station registered a case against her on the insistence of a mob incited by Chishti.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2012.