Rule of Law: Death for killing two accused of blasphemy
FAISALABAD: An Anti-Terrorism Court on Monday found Maqsood Ahmad guilty of killing two blasphemy accused in 2010 and sentenced him to death on four counts. Ahmed, a resident of Chak 204 Rakh Branch (RB), was brought to the court amid tight security. A large crowd, including many Sunni Tehrik activits, had gathered in front of the court.
Many of the activists expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict. ST’s Mahmood Ahmed said they would soon file an appeal against the verdict at the appropriate forum. He said the man had killed two blasphemers and deserved better treatment.
DSP Mian Khalid of Kotwali police station said Ahmed had killed two Christian brothers, Rashid Emanuel and Sajid Emanuel, residents of Daud Nagar, on July 19, 2010, on the district courts premises. He said the two had been accused of blasphemy and had been brought to a court for hearing of the case when Ahmed shot at them and fled from the scene. The two had died on the spot.
SP (investigations) Mian Haneef, a DSP and an inspector were suspended for their failure to provide adequate security to the deceased. DSP Khalid said police had caught Ahmed a week after the incident. He said the man had later during interrogation confessed to killing the two brothers.
Emanuel Masih, father of the deceased, and the complainant in the FIR against Ahmed, told The Express Tribune that his sons were innocent. He said charges filed against them were false. He said Rashid had been married in 2009 and that his wife was expecting a child when he was killed. Emanuel brothers had been arrested by Civil Lines police on July 18, 2010 – a day before their murder. The FIR, Khalid said, accused the two of distributing pamphlets with irreverent content. It was registered by a prayer leader at a local mosque.
Judge Raja Muhammad Arshad announced the verdict after recording statements of witnesses from both sides. He sentenced Ahmed to death on two counts for each murder. He imposed a fine of Rs2million for each killing. Failure to pay the fine would attract another two years of imprisonment.
Ahmed was also sentenced to 10-year-imprisonment and Rs0.2million fine (under Section 324 of Pakistan Penal Code) for injuring a police official, 10-year–imprisonment and Rs0.5 million (under Section 337-D), 10-year–imprisonment and Rs0.5 million fine (under Section 7-C of ATA), 2-year- imprisonment (under Section 353 of PPC) and 3-month-imprisonment (under Section 186 of PPC).