Day of reckoning for ‘blasphemy cleric’
ISLAMABAD, Sept 3: Police investigators investigating the blasphemy case involving a Christian girl, found two more eyewitnesses against the prayer leader who allegedly maneuvered evidence against her, police said on Monday.
The witnesses, Khurram Shahzad and Hafiz Mohammad Owais, recorded their separate statements under CrPC 161 (examination of witness by police), with investigating officer sub-inspector Munir Hussain Jaffery, stating that they saw Hafiz Mohammad Khalid Jadoon putting some pages of the Holy Quran, after tearing them.
The sources in the police close to the investigation told Dawn that the complainant of the case — Malik Amad, who was also the neighbour of the girl — brought a polythene shopper to the mosque carrying ashes and some burnt papers and handed it to them.
Shahzad was offering prayers, while Owais was in Itekaf (meditative seclusion) , but later Amad took the shopper from them and handed it over to the prayer leader Khalid Jadoon; adding that the prayer leader later tore some pages from the Holy Quran and put it in the shopper.
They objected to the act, but Hafiz Jadoon replied: “You are just kids and you do not know how to strengthen a case.”
Later they brought the matter in the knowledge of the prayer caller of the mosque — Hafiz Zubair – who also raised an objection over the act, but it was ignored again.
Earlier, Hafiz Zubair’s statement recorded under CrPC 164 (Power to record statements and confessions) stated that Hafiz Jadoon took the custody of the shopper carrying ashes and put it in the mosque.
After people left the mosque, Hafiz Jadoon asked for the shopper and someone brought it from the mosque to him.
Hafiz Jadoon after taking the shopper put some pages from the Holy Quran and one person raised objection on the act, the sources said.
The person raising the objection complained over the act, but Hafiz Jadoon replied it was an evidence against them and the only option to force them out of here.
The prayer caller further said in his statement that “Hafiz Mohmmad Khalid Jadoon put the pages of the Quran in the shopper as evidence against the Christians,” the sources quoted the statement.
A senior officer of capital police told Dawn that Hafiz Jadoon is yet to confess his involvement in maneuvering the evidence.
However, he did not challenge the eyewitnesses in his presence repeating their statements, alleging his involvement in
maneuvering the evidence, the officer added.
“He avoided eye contact with the witness and felt ashamed when the police asked to challenge the statements of the witnesses,” the officer said.
Another senior officer said that the investigators were ordered to add PPC 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) in the FIR already registered on charge of PPC 295-B against Hafiz Jadoon.
He was allegedly involved in defiling the pages of the Holy Quran, he added.
The investigators were also asked to trace and arrest other conspirators, including the complainant of the case Amad Malik, the officer added.
The complainant alleged that the Christian girl burnt the pages and hid the act of Hafiz Jadoon, the officer said.
The police officer said that the shopper carried seven pages of Noorani Qaida — highlighting the procedures of prayer — but only two were burnt.
Four to five torn papers of the first part of the Holy Quran were also in the shopper but they were not burnt, he added.
The ashes found from the shopper have some weight and it was suspected that ashes of wood or coal were put in the shopper too, as the ashes of paper were weightless.