Cleric put burnt Quran pages in Rimsha's bag, IG tells body
11 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police Inspector General Bin Yameen on Monday informed the Senate's Standing Committee on Human Rights that Qari Khalid Jadoon had put burnt pages of the holy Quran in Rimsha Masih's bag.
Awami National Party Senator Afrasiab Khattak chaired the session of the committee.
Yameen told the committee that there was a great disparity between Rimsha's physical and mental age. The IG said that a situation similar to Gujjar Khan would have arisen if a first information report (FIR) had not been registered. Clerics had made announcements from neighbouring mosques regarding the alleged burning of the holy Quran which led to a serious situation in the area. He appealed to religious scholars and politicians to submit proposals regarding the abuse of the blasphemy law. He also informed the committee that Rimsha's family had not returned to their home, adding that rest of Christians had returned to their houses.
Senator Farhatullah Babar stressed for prevention of misuse of the blasphemy law against anyone and urged that Rimsha's case must be reached to a logical conclusion. He said suggestions and proposals should be sought from everyone, particularly clerics in this regard.
About forced conversion of Hindu girls, Khattak termed it private jihad across the country, particularly in Sindh. "Just change in law will not resolve grievances of the minorities," he said. The committee chairman admitted that injustices and atrocities were carried out with minorities in the country.
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar told the committee that absence of Hindu Marriage Act was responsible for the conversion and marriage issue. He suggested that this law should be introduced for the minority community.
Sindh Additional IG Bashir Memon told the committee that majority of Hindu girls embraced Islam and wed Muslim men. He said police was never blamed for taking side of one party in any such issue.
A representative of the Sindh government told the committee that the provincial government had formed several committees, which dealt with minority issues.
The chairman directed him to write a letter to the Sindh Home Ministry to take appropriate steps for safety of the minority Hindus. Khattak also expressed serious concern over migration of Hindu families. However, the additional IG told the committee that the families had not migrated, but were visiting India to perform religious rituals. "This is just a media hype and there is no reality in the migration," he added.
Punjab Police Additional IG Khan Baig informed the committee that in the last six months (January to July 2012), 208 police encounters had taken place in the province. In the encounters, 123 police personnel and 174 criminals had been killed, adding that more than 50 people were injured. The Punjab government had initiated several judicial inquiries and up till now about 16 verdicts were given in favour of the police and 121 inquires were in progress, he added.