Barket Masih spent 18 months in jail, but finally, his suffering ended. He lived in Khairpur Temawali in District Bahawalpur. Barkat Masih, a 56-year-old Christian who converted from Hinduism, had two jobs. During the day, he cleaned Faazal High School and Madrisa Khair Ul-Aloom. At night, he cleaned a nearby Muslim shrine. He was respected and trusted at all three places.
However, there was a group in Khairpur Temawali with bad intentions. They wanted to take over the shrine. They pressured Barkat Masih to give them duplicate keys to the shrine to access its property documents. Barkat Masih refused to be part of their bad plan. In response, two men named Muhammad Saleem and Muhammad Shoaib threatened him. About a month later, they complained to the Khairpur Temawali Police Station, accusing Barkat Masih of disrespecting the Prophet of Islam and Allah.
On October 1, 2011, the police filed a report, FIR No. 392/11, against Barkat Masih, charging him under Section 295-C in Khairpur Temawali. They arrested him and took him to Central Jail Bahawalpur.
Once again, the controversial Blasphemy Law was wrongly used to hurt an innocent person.
The misuse of Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan has been a source of concern for human rights advocates worldwide. People have frequently misused these laws. Originally intended to protect religious sentiments, unfairly targeting individuals, as exemplified by Barkat Masih’s case.
Upon learning of this unjust case, our team wasted no time in reaching out to the Bahawalpur session court. Thanks to the diligent efforts of our field officer. The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) issued a statement in the trial court, affirming Barkat Masih’s innocence.
The turning point arrived on January 28, 2013. When the Bahawalpur session court rendered its landmark verdict.The court declared Barkat Masih innocent and ordered his immediate release.
After enduring 18 months behind bars. Barkat Masih’s ordeal finally came to an end. A testament to the perseverance of truth and justice in the face of adversity. His case serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for reform of Blasphemy Laws in Pakistan. To prevent their misuse and protect the innocent.