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Sheikhupura: Christians flee from a village amid anticipated violence following blasphemy accusations


Tensions in a Kot Imam Din village near Sheikhupura rose after a Christians namely Usman Masih was accused of blasphemy. Followed by blasphemy accusations, the local landlords issued decree to the Christian villagers to leave the village at once. Seeing the escalating situation about, 10 Christian families fled, for unspecified time.

Harassment of Christians in Pakistan

Usman Masih who purportedly converted to Islam ten years ago has been accused of sending a blasphemous message on Facebook. Followed by worsening situation, police contingents were deployed at the village in order to ward off any possible violent incident. A local Police official Sarfraz Khan Virk said, “the Christian community is safe and well-protected, and a police contingent is present there.”

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Despite the fact that Usman Masih and his wife had converted to Islam, the local Muslim community is bent on reprisal against Christians as the respondent was associated once associated with the Christian faith. The entire episode was narrated by Waris Masih, who is also a cousin of Usman. “My uncle Jagga and his wife were called by their landlords, who told them to leave the village, or they would face dire consequences.”

Waris Masih continued to explain, “Since then, at least 10 Christian families have locked their houses and gone to their relatives for an unspecified time.” Anti-Christians violence or extra-judicial judgments are not a rare phenomenon in cases involving blasphemy accusations. However, the police played its role and was successful in preventing fierce attack on the Christian villagers.

Nonetheless, a blasphemy case has been registered against Usman under the surname of Masih, The complainant Ahsan Asmat, stated in his complaint, “Usman Masih is sending blasphemous messages against Islam on my mobile phone. I warned him, but he does not abstain from sending such messages.”

Police official Srafraz Khan Virk said, “Usman’s laptop has been taken into custody and will be analyzed.” He told that Usman is denying that he committed blasphemy. “Usman is rejecting the claim that he has posted any blasphemous content. The message was sent last August from someone else’s Facebook identity, so the cyber-crime branch will ascertain if that post was sent out by Usman or not,” he said.