LAHORE: A mentally challenged person was acquitted in a blasphemy case on Tuesday after the complainant and the four material witnesses appeared before the court and retracted their statements on Monday.
In the acquittal order, Judge Sahir Islam observed that with the retraction of the statements by the complainant Tariq Mehmood and four witnesses Qaisar Ali, Haroon Shoaib, Muhammad Shoaib and Abdul Rasheed, there was no basis for prosecuting Syed Safdar Hussain Shah.
Talking to The Express Tribune after the hearing, the complainant, Tariq Mehmood, regretted the registration of a police case against Shah whose mental disability was known to him.
He said he had been misled into believing that the pages that Shah was burning on the day of the incident were from the Holy Quran. Later, he said, he had realised his mistake and appeared before the court to withdraw his complaint.
He added that it was Shah’s routine to collect garbage from the streets and set it on fire early in the morning.
The First Investigation Report registered with the Baghbanpura police station on Mehmood’s complaint on November 4 had accused Shah of burning pages from the Holy Quran.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2015.