Rimsha Masih case: Cleric set free for want of evidence

Published: August 18, 2013

Chishti was accused of burning pages of the Holy Quran to concoct evidence. PHOTO: FILE.

ISLAMABAD: 

A local cleric who triggered a global outcry by accusing a mentally-challenged Christian teenage girl of blasphemy was set free by a trial court on Saturday for want of evidence.

Khalid Jadoon Chishti was accused of desecrating the Holy Quran to concoct evidence against 14-year-old Rimsha Masih, a resident of a Christian slum in suburban Islamabad.

The court didn’t find any incriminating evidence against Chishti, District and Sessions Judge Raja Jawad Abbas said while acquitting the cleric.

Chishti, the peshimam at a mosque in Mehrabadi slum, had accused Rimsha, who is reportedly suffering from Down’s syndrome, of burning pages from the Holy Quran in August 2012. The local police had registered a case against her and she was subsequently detained for three weeks in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail.

The teenage girl was, however, declared innocent by the Islamabad High Court.

During the trial, the witnesses went back on their statements, telling the court that the police had ‘coerced’ them into testifying against Chishti. The case was pending before the court since October 2012, while the cleric was on bail.

After the acquittal of his Chishti his attorney Advocate Syed Wajid Gilani told The Express Tribune outside the court that the ruling was a ‘victory of truth’. In June 30, 2013, CBC News Canada reported Rimsha has been living in Canada for a few weeks.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • M. A. Changezi
    Aug 18, 2013 - 11:11AM

    Another thug in guise of cleric goes free.

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  • Feroz
    Aug 18, 2013 - 11:40AM

    For atrocities against non Muslims there will never be any witnesses even if dozens saw the crime. Given the depth of the ideological rot chances of terrorism being defeated are close to zero, scope of elected leaders handing over Power voluntarily to the Jihadi brigade and supporters are much brighter.

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  • Mj
    Aug 18, 2013 - 12:18PM

    Always the same excuse.

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  • Aug 18, 2013 - 12:53PM

    The prosecutor failed to present evidence as it was in news, the ET deliberately wrote a line to pose it in a way to show that courts have freed the cleric. While the more prestigious paper, dawn news has wrote it clearly that not enough evidence was presented.

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  • Anwar
    Aug 18, 2013 - 1:38PM

    There never will be any evidence against SUCH thugs.
    Remember we are a lovely pious society.

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  • Anwar.S
    Aug 18, 2013 - 1:40PM

    Always the same excuse.
    There never will be enough evidence against such clerics.

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  • Anwar.S
    Aug 18, 2013 - 1:42PM

    Always the same excuse.
    And there will never be enough evidence against such clerics.

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  • elcay
    Aug 18, 2013 - 1:45PM

    This is not a news,it was expected!Recommend

  • Disillusioned
    Aug 18, 2013 - 2:38PM

    The Almighty be praised. Rimsha is in a safer place, perhaps with a better life to look forward to.
    We are left with some doubts about an alleged blasphemer(Chishti), who is was said to have committed the sacrilege of placing those shreds from a Quranic source into a bag of rubbish which was witnessed by more than one person, inside the mosque at that time, Notwithstanding their reluctance now to repeat their testimony, it does not mean that they deny the incident.
    But the Almighty is indeed watching and some retribution upon Khalid Chishti is bound to ensue sooner rather than later. Meantime some of the likes of us will be offering our prayers led by this alleged sinner and liar.

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