Baba Naja Blasphemy case
The Voice came to know about an information about a Blasphemy case registered against Baba Naja Masih aged about 60 years the resident of Shahid Basti Bhawalpur on 23rd August 2014. The Voice team in Lahore tried to confirm the news but unfortunately we couldn’t got the conformation whether there is any person by the name of Baba Naja or if there’s any case registered under sections of Blasphemy in the Police station Model town Bahawalpur. Therefore the Voice took it as a mis-information about the religious persecution especially in the circumstances where our country is in now a days.
On 29th August 14, the Voice came to know about another incidence of Blasphemy case in which the charges lied on two domestic workers one was sweeper in the school and was Christian and the other one was the peon and was Hindu known as Javed and Anand lal. While doing the fact finding of the case on 29th night the Voice team again heard about the case of Blasphemy registered against one Naja Masih. On probing into the situation and asking people around the Voice team could hardly locate the family of Naja Masih, his wife Nargis bibi and his Children named Yaqoob Masih aged about 30 years, Ashraf Masih aged about 28 years, Anwar Masih aged about 24 years and Sonia Bibi wife of Sunny Masih aged about 26 years.
After inquiring from them about the situation The Voice team inspired that they do not know anything about the situation or the case in which they are heaved into. They just had the idea that something very bad had happened to Naja Masih and now their family is in danger, as they were getting threats and sort of social boycott from the surroundings of their house, but neither of the members of the family knew what exactly happened.
Statement of Nargis Bibi wife of Naja Masih:
Nargis Bibi told TVS team that my Husband (Naja) was a sweeper/cleaner at special Educational system school (for Blind people). He has been working there for about 22years and people around knows him well. He is polite, obedient and hardworking. He never fought with anyone throughout his life. He is very friendly and God fearing and is very much interested in spreading knowledge of Bible among others. On 23rd august when he was coming home from work, he sat on the Barber’s shop in our neighborhood with Shahid Mehmood (the barber). He often sit there and talk to people around the market. On the similar day as usual he sat with Shahid and started talking and sharing views on politics. While talking they started discussing religion and similarities of Quran and Bible. During their discussion the incidence of prophet Lut (from Genesis) became the topic of discussion and Naja Masih started telling Shahid about the story that how Lut and his two daughters managed to escape by the will of God from Sadom and how his daughters preserved their family while there was no other man left alive around. She also said that those are the facts of the Bible how can we deny them? But from that time until today we have not seen Naja and we are trying to find him.
Statement of Yaqoob Masih s/o Naja Masih:
Yaqoob said that we saw police taking away my father on 23rd August from the shop of Shahid Mehmood but nobody answered us clearly that where they are taking my father. Shahid Mehmood himself called the police according to the local shopkeepers but now he is not telling us what exactly had happened. People do not want to talk to us and we don’t know what is going on? We had tried to find my father in the nearest police stations but we have not found him yet.
Statement of Sonia Bibi d/o Naja Masih:
Sonia said, from the day my father left the house we are finding him like crazy. Police is not ready to listen to us. Shahid Mehmood called the police but now he is not telling us what sin did my father committed so that he handed my father to the police and now he says every time that my father will come back after few days. The people who loved and respected us in this neighborhood are now avoiding us and they hate us. Please help us to find my father.
The Voice’s activity regarding the case:
After realizing the situation the Voice team contacted Regional Police Officer Mr. Tahir Mehmood Ejaz and asked him about the situation. He told the Voice officials that a Blasphemy case no 404/14, under section 295-A Pakistan penal code has been registered against Naja Masih and he is kept under the safe custody of police but in a police station far away from his house for his security because his neighbors and the complainant Shahid Mehmood were very angry upon the derogatory remarks he passed for Prophet Lut. The police was suspecting the neighbors’ and the complainant that they will do any mischief and try to harm him. The Voice than arranged a meeting of Naja Masih and his family in the Police station where he was kept and there the Voice team met Naja Masih along with his family.
Statement of Naja Masih:
Even after staying for a week in the police station under the Charges of Blasphemy Naja Masih was confused that why he was arrested and what wrong did he said. The Voice team asked him about any violence from the police side or any threats but he said that police has kept me safely and they said that I am under threats of killing. The Voice team talked to him and did a bit of counselling and told him about the situation and assured him that the Voice will help him and his family to get out of the crises, and will provide him with free legal Aid and assistance to his family.
Presently Naja Masih is in Jail now and the Voice is dealing with the case. The Voice is waiting for the investigation to be completed and then TVS will file the post-arrest bail for Naja Masih. The family of Naja Masih is also in the safe custody of TVS.
Advocate High Court