November 4, 2015 marks a year to the horrid incident of lynching of a Christian couple over alleged blasphemy accusations.
Just a year ago, the Christian couple Shahzad and Shama were brutally burnt alive by a furious mob at a brick kiln. The incident took place in Kot Radha Kishan, where the Christian family was employed as labourers at a local brick kiln which eventually became their death spot.
Earlier on November 4, morning, a violent mob dragged both of them out of their house, and started torturing them, afterwards they were brought to the same brick kiln where they worked and were set on fire while still alive. Blasphemy accusations were brought against the Christian couple. However, it has been claimed that Shahzad had borrowed some amount from the owner of the brick kiln as a loan but could not return on promised time and so a dispute aroused between the two.
The Christian couple has left three mourning children behind, namely Suleman, Sonia and Poonam. These children might have witnessed the horrifying event and the vague memories could still be haunting them, however, they are on a way to recovery after the tragic incident.
However, so far no body has been implicated in the murder charges and no real progress has been reported in this case. Initially 620 people were named in the preliminary report compiled by police, but, thus far only 126 out of the 620 have been hooked by the police.
Out of this large number; police has interrogated only 32 suspected culprits of lynching incident. The rest of the named suspects are declared fugitives by the police, while no real or substantial efforts are being made to arrest them. Moreover, the main culprits have been denied bail, while they are awaiting a ruling behind the bars.
Father of Shama Bibi, Mukhtar Masih has revealed that he constantly receives threats from the families and influential people from the neighbourhood. He revealed that he has been pressurised to withdraw his complaint, as is the custom whenever somebody from minority becomes victimized. The Muslim community threatens him of further violence, if he fails to pull out the FIR.
“We receive continuous threats to withdraw the case by the perpetrators’ families from nearby towns; they come to the house and make threats. I will not give up justice for my daughter Shama and her husband Shahzad, they were innocent and the guilty must be punished.
No father should see his daughter die before him and the brutality that my daughter went through, brings me to tears every time I think of it. None of the culprits have ever shown any remorse and this hurts the most – my daughter’s life meant nothing to them.” However, the three children of the victimized Christian couple are under safe guardianship.