Chak 59 was unusually silent following the lynching of Shama and Shahzad. The striking silence engulfed the streets and everybody from the fruit and vegetable vendor to co-workers denied even knowing the couple that was burnt alive.
Everybody is aware to the story that led to the death of Shama and Shahzad. To sum it all up, Shama’s father-in-law was a spiritual man. He made taveez or charms with spiritual inscriptions and gave them to people. After his death Shama was cleaning his room when she found such inscriptions and took them out to burn them.
Irfan, a new convert from Christianity to Islam watched Shama burning papers with Arabic writing and made the blasphemy accusation public before sunrise the other day. Announcements were made from the local mosque asking all Muslims to gather at the kiln.
“The maulvi picks up the loudspeaker — actually, I would call it a Kalashnikov — and starts firing bullets into the air,” said one local, requesting anonymity because of safety concerns.
Shahzad and Shama were locked in a room for some time. When the lock was opened they were dragged out and a mob of hundreds started beating them with sticks and fists. Shama was five months pregnant. After their bodies being smeared with blood, Shahzad lost consciousness. Shama was struggling to catch her breath. Shahzad died and Shama was still alive. They were dragged to a furnace and a metal sheet was put over Shama to stop her from resisting. The three feet tall flames did the rest.
The memories will slowly fade away. The case will be forgotten. Although arrests have been made in this regard they are not considered as seriously as they should be. The actual criminals remain at large.
The blasphemy law is a sword hanging over the heads of Christians in Pakistan and could lead to many more similar attacks.