Saturday, 30 April 2011

Protests & attacks in Gujranwala on Christians

The situation in Punjab's city of Gujranwala has been tense since a month after two Christians; a father and a son were accused under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law. Christians of Gujranwala praised the Punjab police for controlling mobs and planned attacks guarding the residence of the accused Mushtaq and Farrukh Gill as well as many other Christian properties including the Christian Technical Training College where Mushtaq was a faculty member.

In earlier reports it seemed as if both father and son were arrested in a fabricated case however it was not the case as Police had taken them into protective custody for their own safety. Police and Elite force monitored protests last week where a senior police officer asked the leader of the 100 gathered to step forward and immediately the protests dispersed. Since then those behind framing Mushtaq and Farrukh have been planning to carry out attacks and protests with warnings and threats to Christians of Gulzar Colony and other areas forcing many Christian families to move to their relatives or other safer locations outside Gujranwala.
What seemed to be a controlled situation soon took a twist with Reverend Issac being wanted in questioning and involved in the case also. Clerics and supporters demanded the arrest of Rev. Issac who went into hiding, and then escaped Police custody as reported by many individuals. There are many reports about Rev. Issac and it is still unclear why he is being dragged into this.
A Christian, Tariq Masih said "Rev. Issac is a prominent figure in his neighbourhood and is accompanied by armed bodyguards and many muslim neighbours either fear or feel inferior to him. First master Mushtaq and now Issac, the case is not of blasphemy anymore, these clerics want some damage done to the Christian community and no matter what they want to cause harm, fear and declare they are dominating"

It is being said many Christians are planning to move out of their properites and have considered selling them and shifting to safer locations.

 The Blasphemy law was introduced by the late Zia-Ul-Haq and since then it has been a noose waiting to lynch some innocent citizen of Pakistan, Muslims and Christians have been subjected to false accusations and baseless evidences or witnesses can file an FIR to arrest any individual for personal gain or enimity.
 Clerics gathered people yesterday and brainwashed them with false information and ordered them to attack Christians in Gujranwala. They damaged the windows of Christian Technical Training College and also tried to unsuccessfully burn the Christian seminary and Church heavy managing to hurl stones at windows, there was reported firing going on in the Christian colony. Protestors also clashed with police on Sialkot road.
10 people have been injured so far that includes some policemen and Christians,
25 arrests have been made, crowds were shot at by police to disperse them. It is being said if the situation goes out of control then Punjab rangers will impose a curfew.

A protest was announced the night before but then cancelled; however burnt pages of the Quran were found in a graveyard next morning at 7 am and they are trying to frame Rev. Issac for it, no matter what- they want Issac to be arrested.
His property too has been attacked at 8 am.

 A banner was hung on Katcha Fatomabad chowk that said :
In Aziz Colony Gujranwala, We strongly condemn the ghastly incident of Burning Quran and blasphemy against Prophet by these Christians, Sons of Bitches

A Christian on Facebook answered a discussion thread with this Bible verse:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2- Timothy 3:1
لیکِن یہ جان رکھ کہ اخِیر زمانہ میں بُرے دِن آئیں گے۔ ۲۔ تِیمُتھیُس 3 : 1

Those of you who do not know how Farrukh was arrested and what was the evidence based upon, a child went to a local mosque and handed a letter from an unknown person; the letter read "Farrukh Gill has burnt a Quran"
Is that evidence ? You be the judge.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Blasphemy case fabricated against father & son in Gujranwala [Mushtaq & Farrukh Gill]

Farrukh Mushtaq Gill and his father Mushtaq Gill, have been arrested for blasphemy friday evening from their residence in Gujaranwala. Farrukh is being charged with burning a Quran.
The father of the accused Mushtaq Gill, is an Elder of Presbyterian Church and a teacher at the Christian Technical Training Center in Guranjawala. Farrukh is employed at National Bank of Pakistan. This incident reports back to 2-3 months ago when someone charged Farrukh with desecrating the Quran however the Police did not proceed with the case.
Yesterday in a preplanned move a mob consisting of several clerics and locals pressured the police to arrest both the father and the son, seeing the present situation the police had no other option but to arrest the two men to control and please the mob, Police then assigned several officers in front of Gill's residence and on the roof-top as well to avoid any attacks. Christians residing in Gulzar Colony had moved to their relatives or friends houses in fear of being targeted by angry mobs. One of the residents said "This must be the lamest excuse in Pakistan that a Christian has burnt a Quran, the lawmakers and everyone else too knows it's a fabricated case and no Christian in Pakistan would do this but officials are either bribed or threatened by clerics backed by extremists"

Farrukh Gill was instructed by Church officials in the last incident to resign and search for another job as it could be possible someone was discriminating and targeting him as he was the only Christian employed there. Farrukh reported he has no enmity with anyone but many colleagues were not in favour of a Christian in their midst. However Farrukh had thought the problem was now over.
Yesterday rumors arose of an attack at Christian technical training center but the situation has been calm in the city since yesterday and all reports of attacks have been dismissed as false. Apparently it is claimed some mosques announced the incident and gathered more people however a few Christians claim they heard no such announcements in the area that they reside. Friday is an important prayer for Muslims and it is then that they have the most number of attendees.

The reason behind the false charges against Farrukh are still unknown and whether he is being framed due to discrimination or professional jealousy is unclear, however there seems to be no other motive at present.

Recently the blasphemy cases against Christians are on the rise with Arif Masih of a village near Chak Jhumra, Faisalabad being arrested last week in a fabricated case for property. Most are accused under the controversial blasphemy law of Pakistan for which Christians and many Muslims have protested against, Salman Taseer the outspoken brave Governor of Punjab was assassinated a few months ago over his support of the release of Aasia Bibi an accused of the Blasphemy case. Following Taseer was the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who held the position of Minorities minister and was in support of repealing the Blasphemy law. The 295-c law has many Christians as well as muslims arrested under false cases for personal grudges or enmity and even professional jealously, usually there is no procedural inquiry and without lack of evidence and statements of a few clerics or persons an FIR is registered.

In 2010 the Rashid brothers from Faisalabad, the country's third-largest city were released without lack of evidence by the court. Both brothers had been charged under the blasphemy law for distributing anti-Islam material, Rashid and Sajid Emmanuel were both shot by unknown assailants outside courtroom. The hatred in Pakistan has gradually increased against Christians due to the ignorant actions of Florida's Pastor Terry Jones who burned the Quran and planned the 'Burn a Koran day", Several Church officials had condemned his un-Christian actions and demanded his removal by the Church of America.