The eight innocent from Chak Sikandar
A rabid mullah, who had running feuds with many, including his relatives, was murdered in Chak Sikandar in September 2003. The anti-Ahmadiyya opposition found it very opportune to name Ahmadis in the murder. The police, rather than making an effort to find the real murderer, arrested the named 10 Ahmadis and put them behind bars. Since then, the police have come to know some facts of the case, and it is certain that the police know that the arrested Ahmadis are not involved in this crime. Still these innocent have not been released, nor the court has been assisted by the state to bail them out, except the two nominated for abetment. The police have no case against them, still these bread-winners of their families continue to suffer in prison because the authorities find it convenient to remain scared of the mullah. Following are behind bars for the last one year and three months for a crime committed by someone else:
1. Muhammad Idrees
2. Basharat Ahmad
3. Nasir Ahmad
4. Bashir Ahmad
5. Ejaz Ahmad
6. Muhammad Akmal
7. Munir Ahmad
It is a strange system of justice where simply by producing two false witnesses a large number of innocent men can be imprisoned for years under trial. The police, having thoroughly investigated, have found no evidence of their involvement in the crime. Still the state is wasting its time, effort and money in incarcerating them and trying them in a court of law. The real culprits are at large, and the police are off their track. Imagine the hardship faced by them behind bars, the loss of livelihood, the deprivation of paternal care to their families and the expenses of a long and expensive trial. It is mind-boggling.
Arrests without proofs
A septuagenarian president of a village Ahmadi community and his two sons, a doctor and a teacher were arrested in December 2003 under PPC 298C, an Ahmadi-specific law. Their application for bail was rejected by the Sessions. The High Court subsequently accepted the bail plea of the old man, while the sons remained in prison.
Six months later, the trial court found them Not Guilty of charges and released them. It was good news, but what about the ‘dead’ time of six months in their lives. In fact it was not ‘dead time’, it was a very bad time. The three gentlemen are members of a respectable family. Prior to this, they had no experience of police, judiciary, prisons etc. Then, all of a sudden the bolt of the notorious anti-Ahmadiyya law fell on their heads. It involved exposure to police, arrests, courts, lawyers, bails, and higher judiciary. It meant closing down the clinic and absence from the school. The costs were high and indeed incalculable in terms of stress and strain. The whole family suffered greatly, including women and children, while in fact, there was no case. The court gave that verdict. Such is the evil of these Ahmadi-specific laws, a legacy of General Zia-ul-Haq, that General Musharraf the promoter of Enlightened Moderation prefers not to undo.
Bail opposed by the state and rejected by the court
District R.Y.Khan: Mr Ismail, president of a village Ahmadiyya Community and his two sons were charged under the Ahmadi-specific law in December 2003. The magistrate rejected the plea for bail of the father and a son. His other son, Mr. M.A. Tayyab had requested the Sessions Judge for ‘bail before arrest’. The judge initially gave January 30 as the date of hearing, and then shifted it to February 6. On both these dates the police failed to bring the records to the court. The magistrate, while giving his decision wrote that the accused had defiled the good name of prophets. It is an obvious nonsense. The magistrate recommended that addition of PPC 295A to the charge sheet be considered. This clause prescribes 10 years’ imprisonment. Such is the mischief of the law and its implementing officials – there is no limit to it.
Handling case of a murdered Ahmadi
Lahore: Last year, some unknown criminals murdered Dr Basharat Ahmad Butt at his residence. At the time, it was felt that the prime motive of the murder was not the faith of the victim. However, now when the investigation is closing in on a few suspects, there is a whisper campaign to the effect that the deceased was a Mirzai (Ahmadi); so what, if he has been killed! The suspected murderer is free on bail, and is in a position to influence the public opinion and police investigation. This has caused great harassment to the stricken family. Their business has been seriously affected. Their children, feeling unsafe outside, stopped attending the school. Fearing further attacks, the family employed a guard for protection. The assassins found it convenient to play the religion card to save their skin and further harass the already stricken family.