A pir was arrested on Wednesday for killing a follower to prove his claim that he could bring him back to life.
A Saddar police spokesman said Muhammad Sabir, a pir of village Mubarakabad in Bahawalnagar, gained popularity over the last five years for his ability to perform ‘miracles’.
He said on Tuesday, he announced that he could breathe life back into a dead man. The pir gave the condition that the victim must be married and have children.
Sabir said 40-year-old Muhammad Niaz, a daily wage worker and father of six children, volunteered for the miracle.
On Wednesday, Niaz was placed on a table in a square and his hands and legs were bound.
The police spokesman said Sabir then sliced his throat as people looked on.
Meanwhile, an anonymous caller informed the police about ‘the miracle.’ The spokesman by the time police reached, Niaz had died.
Witnesses said Sabir uttered some words to bring him back to life. They said when he realized his ‘miracle’ had not worked, he tried to flee.
He was detained by the villagers and handed over to the police. Villagers told police that he used ask a local pet store to donate birds and dogs so that could save villagers from black magic.
They said he sacrificed animals and sprinkled their blood on his followers. He also asked them to sprinkle it at the entrance of their houses to be protected from evil.
A FIR against the cleric has been lodged in Saddar police station. The body of the victim was taken to the tehsil headquarters hospital for autopsy and later handed over to the family for burial.
Samina, sister of the victim, told The Express Tribune, that her brother had sacrificed himself for the spiritual leader.
“Why should I mourn when I know that my brother is in heaven?” she said. “He will be rewarded for his services for the spiritual leader in afterlife.
She said her brother had volunteered for the miracle and that the pir should not have been arrested.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2014.