OKARA: The family of a Christian landowner brutally murdered still awaiting justice.
In line with details, the mourning family of Ishaq Masih allegedly murdered by Muslim man Ranjha, awaits justice as the culprit is on loose. Despite the eyewitnesses of this murder police is yet to take action against the alleged murderer.
It’s been more than two weeks that Ishaq Masih was gunned down by Muhammad Luqman also known as Ranjha on 27th of July, 2013. Ishaq was a man of great repute in his area, being a prominent leader and landlord. As reported earlier, this incident was witnessed by Ishaq Masih’s sons. Ishaq Masih was resident of an Okara district village in the vicinity of Lahore.
The main culprit of this case was publicly identified as Muhammad Luqman; who had illegally occupied Ishaq Masih’s land and was said to be accompanied by as a minimum seven others.
“They surrounded us and started beating my father,” said the 15-year-old son of Ishaq, Arshad Masih. “I and my brother cried for help but nobody was there to help us. They were laughing and raising slogans that this bloody Christian has a lot of land,” he stated in accordance to the official statement distributed by human rights activists.
On the other hand, Ishaq Masih’s local fellows, interconnect this incident to Ishaq Masih’s activities; who was an active leader of great repute among local Christian community despite of being a landowner.
The mourning son of Ishaq Arshad Masih sayis, “They accused my father of “interfering” and said he was now in their hands.” Accoding to him, the attackers said ‘We will teach him how to keep enmity with the Muslims. Then they opened fire and it struck the heart of my father. My father felt on the ground and started to shudder.”
Ishaq Masih’s younger son, Siama Masih said,” he had tried to give his wounded father some water. But Ranjha took that from me and slapped me.” 12 years old Siama further said, the attackers took Arshad with them “to the shed of the cattle and started beating him.The attackers allegedly insisted Arshad would admit to having killed his own father. But my brother did not say a word. He was scared and shocked. I ran to my mother and told her about the incident.”
Later on, hundreds of local Christians protested for three days and two nights in agricultural fields to make police provide justice to the affected family and to look into the alleged murder of the 45-year-old Ishaq Masih. The determined protestors refused to bury the dead body for three days, till the police agreed to register an FIR and hook the alleged murderers and to conduct autopsy of the dead body as in accordance to the legal procedures. Fr. James Bahadur conducted Ishaq Masih’s funeral ceremony the same night police agreed to the demand of the protestors.
As reported by locals, on 29th of July, police guaranteed that they would “arrest all other suspects including Ranjha, within a week, but only if the Christians would bury Ishaq Masih, and then disperse peacefully.”
However, almost three weeks later, “police is yet to take action against Ranjha; who has not been arrested even as his seven accomplices were later released on bail,” according to locals.