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Blasphemy: Pak cleric guilty, cops file chargesheet

After much delay, police have finally submitted an interim chargesheet in the Rimsha Masih case in which they have held that the cleric of the local mosque, Khalid Jadoon Chishti, was responsible for the alleged blasphemy in which 14 year old Rimsha was initially accused.

world Updated: Sep 24, 2012 01:19 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

After much delay, police have finally submitted an interim chargesheet in the Rimsha Masih case in which they have held that the cleric of the local mosque, Khalid Jadoon Chishti, was responsible for the alleged blasphemy in which 14 year old Rimsha was initially accused. They also gave a clean chit to Rimsha Masih after recording a statement of Hafiz Zubair, the peshimam of the same mosque, who said that he had seen Chisthi putting pages of the prayer book in the belongings of Rimsha Masih.

Police officials said that they had witnesses who deposed that they had seen Chisti adding the pages of the prayer book to Rimsha's belongings but there was no one who stated that they had seen Rimsha burn the pages of the prayer book.Investigation officer Munir Jaffery said that his investigations showed that the family of Rimsha Masih used firewood and paper to light their cooking stove but this did not include any prayer book pages.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2012/9/24-09-12-pg-15b.jpg

However, there was some disagreement between the district attorney and the investigation officer.

District Attorney Mehfooz Piracha said that the police had not done their job and were falsely implicating the mosque imam. Piracha said that the case had been altered after intense international pressure.

This exchange of allegations between the investigation officer and the district attorney reflect the complexities of the case, said a spokesman of the Human Rights Commision of Pakistan (HRCP), an independent human rights body.

Jaffery alleged that the district attorney tried to pressurise him into declaring Chishti innocent, but he had refused to do so. 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 R500,000 each. She was flown off to an undisclosed location upon her release from jail. Rights activists had expressed fears that if Rimsha’s location was made public, she would be attacked.