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Christian family rendered homeless as vandals torch their house

1894

Gujar Khan’s Christian family viciously attacked by land mafia. The vandals were allegedly patronized by brother of an influential politician. The victims Bashir Masih and his wife are retired workers of the Gujar Khan Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, claim that the vandals beat their family and torched their house.

Attack on Christians in Gujar Khan

Bashir Masih detailed that on September 21, around 3:30 pm at least 12 men armed with weapons stormed into his house and beat men, women and children unsparingly. “They stripped the clothes of my daughters-in-law and forced them out on the street. They also threw the children, some as young as two, against the walls. My sons and I were hit with gun butts and iron rods amid volleys of abuse and threats.”

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The vandals resorted to aerial shooting so as to harass the Christian family as they looted Bashir’s house and torched it. Vandals torched their Suzuki Van also, while the villagers witnessed the incident. The assailants ransacked all the valuables, gold jewelry in the house before setting Bashir’s house on fire. The Christian family had to flee in order to escape looming death. An FIR no. 504/18 against 12 men named by the victim.

Pakistan Today reported Bashir’s statement that the quandary started a day before the attack. “My wife and I were standing on our doorstep when two accused Imran and Ehsan attacked us without any provocation on Sept 20. They called us Churha and beat both of us mercilessly.” He added, “The next day, around 4 am, a person named Muhammad Kamran telephoned my son Faiz and threatened him to vacate the house within three days failing which they would kill us all.”

Bashir and his family moved in to this village five years back. Bashir Masih has four sons all are married. He maintains that being the only Christian family in the village they have been living peacefully with their fellow villagers and never had participated in any dispute.

PT reported that the local police officer says that the attack might have been carried out in a bid to grab Bashir Masih’s property. Pakistan Centre for Law and Justice (PCLJ) is providing the victimized family with legal assistance. PCLJ official Napolean Qayyum also maintains that the attack was an attempt to harass and grab property of Bashir Masih.

Bashir Masih his wife, four sons their wives and 11 children are now homeless and are taking shelter in a tent. Punjab’s Minister for Minority Affairs and Human Rights Ejaz Augustine has intervened in an effort to help the victims. Bashir and his family claim that they will be killed if they returned to their house.