Dated: November 7, 2014
By this time you might have heard through news media about the brutal killing of a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan on the pretext of desecration of Holy Quran. This family lives very close to Clarkabad, which is a Christian village about 25 km from the city of Raiwind Lahore. CTS team along with few other colleagues visited the family for condolence and to investigate the real facts.
Following information CTS collected
On Tuesday, November 04, 2014 at 06:00a.m. (01:00 a.m. GMT) a mob of 1500- 1600 extremists, from the Muslim Religious Community of surrounding villages, gathered near the village of Clarkabad. This mob was gathered on the pretext that a Christian couple Shahzad and his wife Shamaa belonging to the said village and working as brick kiln workers had allegedly desecrated the pages of Holy Quran by burning them in the brick kiln furnace.
Shahzad’s father who used to do the supernaturals and not only Christians but a number of Muslims come to him for prayers. A few days ago he died and Shahzad who does not believe on his preaching and doing supernatural’s collected all his father’s belongings and burnt them altogether. The same time Shahzad had some trivial matter with the contractor of the brick kiln about his advanced payment.
Through sources CTS team came to know that the contractor of the brick kiln accused Shahzad of blasphemy and he spread the news in the village and nearby villages. When the mass came to know about blasphemy they made announcements in the villages to kill Shahzad. Someone informed Shahzad and suggested him to escape for his safety but he was caught by the brick kiln owner because they took advance payment of 400,000 rupees for their work and brick kiln owner did not allow Shahzad to go for his safety. But he assured Shahzad that he will take care of him and to provide security. He locked Shahzad and Shamaa in the room of contractor for a night because he do not want to free them as he wanted his money.
The next morning the mob came over there and Shahzad and Shamaa, were pulled out of the room where they were locked. Someone from the family of the victims called the Police through emergency number, on which 5 policemen from the local Police Station arrived and tried to pull away Shehzad and Shamma from the clutches of the crowd. Their efforts went in- vain as they were overwhelmed by the mob which snatched away the victims. After that, the mob gathered around the brick kiln where Shahzad and Shamaa use to work and where the alleged desecration took place. They tore away the clothes of Shahzad and Shamaa, and paraded them naked around the brick kiln twice before attacking them and beating them to near death. At the time of this happening Shamaa was 4 months pregnant.
After thoroughly beating both the victims, they threw them in the furnace of the brick kiln and burned them alive. When the family of the victims went to claim the dead bodies, all they found were few bones, there was nothing left from their bodies.
The real story behind this dreadful incident was that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, wanted the couple to return his money which they borrowed during his work, there was a confrontation since majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash but do it by working at the Brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Holy Quran.
The role of police was again not good in this case as we experienced in the several incidents in past. It is total negligence of police since all this went on for quite a while and this place is about 25 minute drive from Lahore; while the local media only shared this news as a Christian couple being burned by an angry mob without sharing the pretext of the misuse of religion to stir up the crowd. As for local Government they only played their role to make sure this story does not reaches the masses and becomes big.
Blasphemy law is totally misused in Pakistan and it is like a hanging sward on the neck of innocent people especially Christians. Till now above 65 people has been killed out of the courts and in the prisons. Few of them were just killed on the spot like Shahzad and Shamaa by the mob without registering any blasphemy case against them. One of the examples we have Salman Taseer who was killed by his own body guard for just helping poor and helpless lady Asia Bibi (blasphemy victim on death row since 2010).
We are quite sure that there was not any blasphemy case registered against the couple and it was just rumor which no one tried to investigate the matter or tried to know the truth.