Karachi, 25-01-2024: The city of Karachi is grappling with a disturbing incident that has raised serious questions about police conduct and the vulnerabilities of minority communities. Irfan Masih, a 40-year-old Christian man and a resident of Azam Town, Mahmoudabad, met a harrowing end while in police custody, sparking widespread outcry and calls for a thorough investigation.
Masih, who was entangled in a family dispute over property rights, was arrested on January 18, 2024, following an accusation of a heinous crime by his mother-in-law, Nasreen Bibi. She alleged that Masih had committed adultery with his own 12-year-old daughter, Uzma. This accusation led to his arrest and subsequent three-day ordeal, which, according to family statements and local activists, involved both physical and mental torture. The tragic saga culminated in Masih's death on the morning of January 21, under circumstances that remain shrouded in mystery.
The police's assertion that Masih committed suicide while in their custody has been met with skepticism and disbelief, especially given the absence of an autopsy and the hasty handover of his body for burial. This act, bypassing a proper investigation, has fueled suspicions and demands for accountability.
Shabir Shafaqt, Chairman of the National Christian Party, has vociferously called for a judicial inquiry into the death of Masih. Shafaqt highlights the improbability of the allegations against Masih, citing them as baseless and an affront to the values of the Christian community. He emphasizes the need to uncover the truth behind what he describes as a grave injustice resulting in the loss of an innocent life.
Gulfam Masih, Irfan's brother, provides a more personal insight into the life of the deceased. He paints a picture of a family that, despite its challenges, including the departure of Irfan's wife, had been living harmoniously. Gulfam's disbelief at the sudden and devastating turn of events is palpable. He stresses the absence of any signs of abuse on Uzma and mourns the loss of his brother, whom he describes as a respected and good-natured individual in the community.
This tragedy has left two young children, Uzma and Roman, orphaned and has raised concerns about the treatment of minority communities in the criminal justice system. The case, as it stands, is a complex web of family disputes, unverified accusations, and a judicial system that faces scrutiny for its handling of minorities and vulnerable groups.
As the community seeks answers, the call for justice grows louder. The demand for a fair and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Masih's death is not just a quest for one family's closure but a test of the country's commitment to upholding justice for all its citizens, regardless of their faith or social standing.