An additional district and sessions judge fixed March 6 for hearing defence evidence and final arguments after recording Masih’s statement.
Masih said Joseph Colony was located next to a steel market. He said some businessmen at the market had been pressing the Christian families residing there to sell their property to them.
He said after the residents declined offers the businessmen hatched a plan to drive them out by alleging blasphemy.
“The warehouse owners were having market committee elections then… two groups, Aman Group and Ittehad Group, were contesting.” He said both groups put up banners accusing him of blaspheming against the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
Masih said announcements were made in the area mosques that “a Christian man had committed blasphemy.”