Followed by successful mediation of the government in the worsening scenario in Chak 44, in Mandi Bahauddin District, a Apex Court lawyer calls for the registration an FIR against the perpetrators who had incited anti-Christians violence. He whined that police could have taken further action in this case.
A Supreme Court lawyer, Saif-ul-Malook has urged that a criminal case should have been lodged against the people who had incited masses into anti-Christian aggression, which nearly led to another incident similar to those at Gojra or Lahore’ Joseph Colony. He said that police should have taken further action apart from just arbitrating between the Christians and Muslim villagers.
He said that in keeping with the judgment of the Supreme Court, which reads: “In all cases of violation of any of the rights guaranteed under the law, or desecration of the places of worship of minorities, the concerned law enforcement agencies should promptly take action, including the registration of criminal cases against the offenders.” The Apex Court pronounced this ruling on June 19, 2014.
Advocate Saif-ul-Malook went on to explain that “Articles 189 and 190 of the Constitution make it binding on all institutions of Pakistan to obey the Supreme Court’s rulings. However, in Chak 44, the police have so far not registered any criminal cases.” Saif-ul-Malook has been in news as he has been representing a Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi on death row after being accused of blasphemy.
A Christian resident of Chak 44, Imran Masih was accused of committing blasphemy, after which he fled from the area. The accusations caused enrage in local Muslim villagers and anti-Christian sentiments were incited by some people. When the Christians approached Muslims for an apology for Imran Masih, they were given three conditions: Either all the Christians convert to Islam, leave the village forever or hand Imran Masih (the accused) to them so that they could burn him alive in front of the one and only church in Chak 44.
What is more, the local Muslim landlords barred Christian villagers from working their fields. Majority of the Christian villagers are from meager financial background and make both ends meet by working in fields of the local Muslim landlords. This resulted in socio-economic boycott of Christian villagers which made the situation worse for them.
However, police officials arbitrated between the Christians and Muslims and it was declared that Imran Masih was innocent and not found guilty of committing blasphemy. The rage of the Muslim villagers seems to have been receded to some extent and Christians are hopeful that the situation returns to normal.