Qutb Rind, a Sindhi artist was brutally murdered in Lahore a couple of days ago. His family is now claiming that he was murdered under a false charge of blasphemy.
Some details of the case however are not adding up.
Rind was murdered by his landlord following an altercation regarding the rent on the day of the incident. According to Rind’s uncle, Gul Beg Rind, the deceased, a National College of Art (NCA) graduate, along with his two children came to Lahore on July 17 for an art show.
“Qutub had rented out an apartment and had an altercation with the landlord that day,” he said.
He has alleged that the landlord came to house with two accomplices and attacked him. Following which the apparent perpetrators threw Rind down the third floor. He later died from severe head injuries.
Firstly, the fact that he was killed under false charges doesn’t make it any more disturbing that the family of the victim have to actually say that the person was “falsely accused” to prove that it wasn’t okay for someone take their life. That’s just a disturbing mindset where people have to somewhat allude that the murder isn’t justified because the accusations were ‘false’. That’s just how society has allowed the narrative to develop, which is unfortunate to say the least.
Secondly, the case details are quite murky. The perpetrators apparently confessed to the murder but later changed their statements. It is being said that the police at the Sanda Police Station are covering up the incident. They haven’t even arrested the third person accused and have urged Rind’s family to just register a case against the person who pushed him down. The police are also claiming that the murder is is not connected to blasphemy but at the same time they aren’t exactly cooperating with Qutb Rind’s family to complete the investigation. So something questionable in terms of delaying or denying justice is definitely up.
Two things are possible here.
Either this was a blasphemy case in which it is only disturbing how people have started taking law into their own hands. Or this wasn’t a blasphemy case and that is a narrative being thrown in to wreak havoc over a sensitive issue. The very word blasphemy riles the public up. Self proclaimed defenders of the faith forget all their civic duties to concentrate on one duty alone, that too in a way the prophet (SAW) himself would have never condoned.
Since 1990, vigilantes have been accused of murdering 65 people tied to blasphemy, according to research compiled by Pakistani thinktank, Centre for Research and Security Studies. The most recent high profile case was of Mashal Khan, a student lynched by a mob in connection with alleged blasphemy.
The only way to do away with such cases that use blasphemy as a basis of killing people is to legislate a law that holds accountable these sick minded people a lot more harshly. Public silence and administrative non-cooperation gets us nowhere. If you believe in fundamental human rights then you will obviousy be irked by these common occurrences. But for all those who feel raising your voice against violence in possible cases of blasphemy will get in the way of religious duty then we only have one question for you:
When will we stop fearing the mullah mob mentality and protect our citizens in a way the prophet (SAW) himself would have liked?