Pakistani Christian lawyer tags Sharoon Masih’s case identical to Asia Bibi’s

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Prominent Christian lawyer Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill has tagged Sharoon Masih’s case similar to that of blasphemy convict Christian woman Asia Bibi. Advocate Mushtaq maintains that both the cases are based upon the stories of both the victims using a glass of water, and fell prey to extremism.

Blasphemy cases in Pakistan

In a statement sent to Fides, Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill stated: “He (Sharoon Masih) was called with the nickname of ‘choora’, a pejorative which is used to define Pakistani Christians, identifying them with the caste of ‘street cleaners’ or ‘untouchables’. He was beaten to death, for having drawn water from a container from which only Muslim students were allowed. Simply for discrimination and contempt, simply because considered untouchable.”

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Advocate Sardar Mushtaq likened Sharoon Masih’s case to Asia Bibi’s blasphemy case. Continuing his comments he stated: “His case recalls that of Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy. She was also accused for a glass of water. The two cases are tragic and are a shame for the country.”

On August 30, Pakistani Christian student Sharoon Masih was brutally lynched by a classmate at Government MC Model High School for Boys in Burewala city of Vehari District. He was lynched on the pretext of drinking water from a glass used by all students. Sharoon died on the spot, but was taken to a hospital by the students when the teachers refused to act.

Advocate Gill speculates that teacher who claimed that he did not see anything because he was reading newspaper, is possibly involved in the violence saying: “Rana Surbuland Khan, Muslim high school teacher where the murder was committed, supported the violence: in fact, he told the class that Christian students could not drink water from the fridge in the classroom because Muslim students complained.”

Victim’s father Ilyasab Masih while talking to local media said that the incident was religiously motivated, still and all police turned down possibility of religion-based violence. Detailing about Sharoon’s first day’s experience at school he said: “His teacher, Nazeer Mohal, sent him back home because he was not wearing the proper uniform.

His mother told me later that evening that Sharoon had told her that the teacher had hit him in front of the whole class and also called him a Choohra, among other curse words. She said that he was quite upset at being humiliated in front of the whole class on the very first day of school.”

Detailing the excruciatingly agonizing moments Ilyasab faced he said: “Sharoon went to school wearing his new uniform. Hardly a few hours later, a Muslim neighbor whose son studies in the same school told us that Sharoon had been killed in school.”

“We were at that time told that Ahmed had objected to Sharoon’s use of the glass, resulting in a fight between the two,” he maintains as he continued: “It was probably then that he kicked him fatally in the abdomen or the chest.” He added that it was unclear to him whether there were other students also involved in the lynching