At refusal to convert, Islamists accuse Toba Tek Singh Christian widow of theft
by Shafique Khokhar

Rasulan Bibi, 65, allegedly stole 5,000 rupees from a Muslim family. After five months, the case seems to have been solved thanks to the intervention of some activists. Police officers had been told not to consider the case.



Toba Tek Singh (AsiaNews) - For five months Rasulan Bibi fought to have charges of theft brought against her by a Muslim family for which he worked withdrawn. The matter was only recently resolved thanks to the intervention of human rights organisations.

Rasulan, a 65-year-old Christian widow, has been working as a domestic worker in various homes for some time. In July, she was accused of stealing 5,000 rupees (about 2,550 euro) from the family she had worked for for eight years. 

"I am a 65-year-old woman, I have worked very honestly all my life," the Christian woman commented. "In order to withdraw the charges against me, they had pressured me to convert to Islam. My children and I also went to the High Court in Lahore to seek justice, but it was all in vain.

One of Rasulan's sons, Amir, claimed that Waseem Sarwar, head of the Toba Tek Singh District Police Department, had forced the officers to disregard his mother's words, advising her to convert instead. "When we went to the police for help at first they welcomed us," Amir explained to AsiaNews. "But when we came back to be updated they stopped helping us. The officials and officers told us they could not do anything for us."  

Saleem Iqbal, a human rights activist from Lahore, said he himself went to speak to the police superintendent about Rasulan's case. The officers said it was evident that the Muslim family was using its influence. "The first information report filed by the police was only done to harass the woman and her children," Iqbal explained. "We have assured them that they will get justice and will soon be free from this case."