LAHORE: Blasphemy accused Sawan Masih’s case hearing due on 25 of this month.
According to the details, Sawan Masih a 28 year old Christian, resident of Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh area of Lahore allegedly accused of committing blasphemy by his friend is scheduled for a jail trial on 25th of July, 2013. Sawan Masih is a sanitary worker, and is said to have blasphemed by making reviling remarks about Prophet Muhammad. According to a witness, “A drunken row between Sawan and his friend was the trigger for blasphemy allegations that provoked a mob of around 3,000 angry protesters to burn almost 200 Christian homes, 2 Churches in Lahore’s Joseph Colony.”
In accordance with the FIR of this case, complainant Shahid Imran heard Sawan Masih using offensive language about Prophet Muhammad as he was taking to his neighbour Muhammad Shafique. Imran said that,” he and Shafique told Masih to abstain, but he did not listen.” They then sought to hold him and turn him over to the police, but he fled. The FIR was later registered at Badami Bagh police station under Section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which carries capital punishment. The police booked him on 8th of March, 2013; a day before the Badami Bagh arson.
However, keeping in view the sensitivity of the case and the security of Sawan Masih, Superintendent of Police Hassan Mushtaq Sukhera wrote to the Additional District and Sessions Judge Chaudhry Ghulam Murtaza for the blasphemy case to be tried in jail, due to potential threat to Sawan’s life.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Chaudhry Ghulam Murtaza adjourned the jail trial of Sawan Masih till July 25.The judge put off the trial after Advocate Muhammad Rashid submitted power of attorney on behalf of complainant Shahid Imran and more time to study the case. Moreover, the prosecutions witnesses Manzoor Hussain, Shahid Imran the complainant, Shafique, Iftikhar, Bashir and Qasim attended the hearing. Additionally the judge also ordered the Badami Bagh SHO to appear before the court along with the witnesses.