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Police state that Rimsha is innocent

24 September 2012

AP

In hiding: Rimsha Masih is escorted towards a helicopter, after her release from prison earlier this month

In hiding: Rimsha Masih is escorted towards a helicopter, after her release from prison earlier this month

POLICE in Pakistan have submitted an interim charge sheet to the court in the case of Rimsha Masih, the young girl accused of desecrating the Qur'an (News, 7 14, 21 September), and have concluded that she is innocent of the charges.

The charge sheet, lodged with the court on Saturday, suggests that Mohammed Khalid Chishti, the local imam, is guilty of burning pages of the Norani Qaida, a Qur'an study guide, and placing the pages in Rimsha's bag in an attempt to stir anti-Christian feeling in a district of Mehrabadi, Islamabad.

The police officer who compiled the report, investigator Munir Jaffery, said: "Our investigation shows nothing implicating Rimsha, but there is substantive proof that the imam tempered with evidence to incriminate the Christian girl."

Rimsha is currently on bail and living in hiding with her parents. She is still awaiting the court's verdict, but there is a "presumption of truth" with police statements. The Court is sitting again today, Monday, to decide whether the imam should face sanction. Desecrating the Qur'an carries the death penalty in Pakistan.

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