Blasphemy allegations aren’t something to be taken lightly in Pakistan. They’ve killed many people and put several others in jail. Being an extremely sensitive topic that involves religion, majority of the state machinery is bound into inaction. Critics say that anyone can level blasphemy allegations against people they have personal enmity with because of the very loose interpretation of the blasphemy law and yet nothing is done about the situation.
16 days ago, an artist and graduate of NCA, Qutub Rind, was murdered in Lahore after being tortured and then pushed off of a third floor balcony.
— Veengas (@VeengasJ) August 5, 2018
Initial speculation on social media suggested that this heinous act was committed in the name of blasphemy but no official media coverage had taken place
What have we come to?! A famous artist in Lahore has been killed for 'blasphemy'. Until & unless these uneducated extremists are taught that it is NOT okay to take the law in your hands..this will not stop. Qutub, I'm sorry, we've failed yet again. #Justice4QutubRind
— Asim Azhar (@AsimAzharr) August 5, 2018
We as a nation failed to provide justice to Mashal Khan and Naqeeb Mehsud. So Mobocracy took another life in Lahore, an artist Qutb Rind is murdered on Blasphemy charges. Yeh waqt kerta hai parvarish barsu. Hadsey aik dam nahi hotay #Justice4QutubRind
— Zameer Maan (@ZameerMaan) August 5, 2018
A social media campaign launched by the victim’s friends and family made this tragedy widely known and the investigation that was launched picked up speed
Suspects confessed to having committed the murder because of alleged blasphemy committed by the victim, however, sources at NCA and Qutub’s family claim that the assailants are using the excuse of blasphemy to gain sympathy from the justice system.
I just spoke to Qutub's uncle. He confirmed that Killers fabricated blasphemy allegations to justify murder whereas dispute started due to rent. He also stated that he filed application against 3 accused in his but Police only registered case against 2 and protecting 3rd person pic.twitter.com/G3oEM5McSP
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) August 5, 2018
i just can't imagine what kind of an animal man is, killing somebody over a feud and then framing the victim on false baseless charges, even if those charges were proven to be true there was no basis of killing, but these men kill and frame the victim #Justice4QutubRind
— High (@talkingcurves) August 6, 2018
Another young son of the soil has been killed brutally over false allegations of blasphemy, by the way who are we to decide whether someone has committed any blasphemous act or not?#Justice4QutubRind pic.twitter.com/a5wTbf0Nkh
— Sohaib Haider (@Sohaib_ccs1) August 5, 2018
In an official statement by the Senior Superintendent of police, it has now been confirmed that Qutub was killed over a dispute on rent payment and NOT blasphemy.
Two suspects, the owners of the Qutub’s apartment have been arrested.
It is sad how it was only after a social media campaign that the justice system even took notice of this heinous crime. This just goes to show the power of social media and the kind awareness we can bring about if it is used correctly. But it also makes you think about those countless victims who don’t have the access or connections to find the justice that they deserve.
At the same time, the police having to clarify that the matter didn’t involve blasphemy allegations raises questions
Was it social media being quick to jump to conclusions? Is the police trying to calm people down and hide the actual story? Until and unless we find out more from the relevant authorities, speculation and conspiracy theories are bound to float around, leading to further fear mongering.
We hope Qutub Rind gets the justice that he deserves.
Cover image via: brandsynario.com