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Muslim Accused of Brutally Killing Christian Student in Pakistan Gets Bail

Friday, February 9, 2018, 14:39 (IST)

A Muslim high school student accused of killing a Christian teenager in Pakistan has been given bail due to lack of police investigations.

Sharoon Masih, 17, died on Aug. 27, 2017 after he was brutally beaten by Ahmed Raza for drinking water from a glass used by all students in a classroom, as all his Muslim classmates in MC Model Boys Government High School in Punjab Province's Vehari District considered Sharoon, the only Christian in the class, as "unclean".

Ilyasab Masih, father of the deceased, Raza's family tried to settle the case by offering him more than US$27,000 (1,72,000 INR), which he has refused.

On Jan. 8, Raza obtained bail from the Lahore High Court's Multan bench as there were several gaps between the First Information Report (FIR) and post-mortem report.

According to Morning Star News, Prosecuting attorney Allah Dad Khan said the FIR registered by police states that Sharoon's father had witnessed the accused beating his son, though Masih was not present at the time of the attack.

"The defense will use this factual error for its benefit in the trial court," Khan said.

The FIR states that Raza hit Sharoon fatally in the abdomen while kicking and punching him, Khan said.

"However, the post-mortem report states that there were no torture marks on the deceased's body, therefore the defense claimed that Sharoon had not died of the beating," he said.

"It's quite clear that the police and the medical officer deliberately left gaps in the FIR and the post-mortem report to benefit the accused in the trial," he added.

The medical officer declared the cause of Sharoon's death as "uncertain," offering vague conclusions to the court and benefiting the accused, Khan said.

"It's the medical examiner's responsibility to state the cause of death," he said.

"A human being has died, yet the medical report does not state the reason of his death, which points to mala fideon the doctor's part," he added.

Judge Sardar Muhammad Sarfraz Dogar ruled that the "post-mortem report of deceased Sharoon has opined that there is no sign of physical injury or trauma seen on the body of the deceased, meaning thereby there is clear contradiction between the ocular and medical account. At this stage it is hard to determine that whether the death of the deceased occurred through any beat [sic] of the petitioner."

The court released Raza on bail of US$1,804 (1,15,000 INR).