Rimsha Masih is a minor Christian girl from a poor Islamabad suburb who was accused more than two weeks back by her neighbour and a local cleric of blasphemy. The cleric, Khalid Jadoon, accused the illiterate girl of carrying a bag of garbage which allegedly also contained some torn and burnt pages from the Holy Quran. Rimsha spent more than a fortnight in jail before being released on bail on September 7.
However, many reports have surfaced over the last one week where the cleric has been accused of putting the pages in the girl's bag in a deliberate attempt to frame her. It has also been reported that the cleric was campaigning for quite long to oust Christians from the area. Rimsha has been variously referred to as an 11 year old, a 14 year old and even a 16 year old. However, what can be said conclusively about him is that she is a minor girl from a poor Christian family who suffers from the Down's Syndrome.
The chromosomal disorder means Rimsha's cognitive skills and development are equivalent to those of children half her age. He IQ is also half of that of a normal child of her age.
A family rides past Rimsha Masih's house, locked since the girl was arrested more than a fortnight back.
A section of the Pakistan civil society and press has been vocal about the inhumanity associated with this trial of Rimsha. However, clerics have called for a proper investigation and letting law take its course. However, the fact that an illiterate minor girl whose may not be aware of what constitutes blasphemy seems to have been overlooked by those baying for Rimsha's blood.
But on September 7, the court of additional sessions judge in Islamabad granted bail to to the blasphemy-accused girl against a surety of 500,000 (In Pakistani Rupees).
The lawyer for the accused argued before the court that the girl was entitled to bail as she was a minor and that the FIR lodged by the police did not mantion that she desecrated a copy of the holy text.
The police officer investigating the case told the court that Khalid Jadoon, the cleric who had been accused of tampering evidence, had deliberately added pages of the Holy Quran to the plastic bag that the girl was carrying.