Father of Arslan Masih who was lynched by police on October 9, details the sequence of heart wrenching events. Seven policemen brutally beat the Christian teenager in province village of Jhabran Mandi, Sheikhupura district.
In an interview to an international news agency, Mushtaq Masih shared information about his son’s death. In keeping with his narrative, Arslan Masih was a student at Ideal Science Academy. He was at the academy when seven policemen from Bahu Chowk police post stormed at around 5 p.m. on October 9. They arrived in an official vehicle and stormed the premises, Mushtaq Masih stated.
“Arslan was attending his tuition classes at the Ideal Science Academy when head constable Imtiaz, driver Rashid, constable Arshad and other unidentified policemen kicked open the door and dragged him out of the classroom,” he said adding, “Sardar, alias Billu, a police constable, helped them to identify the boy. With this, they all started beating Arslan with fists, kicks and rifle butts.”
Mushtaq Masih said that teacher Farhan Ali was present in the classroom, who tried to stop the policemen but they slapped him continued beating Arslan. “Rashid struck Arslan’s head with a pistol and he started bleeding,” mourning father said adding, “When they bundled him into the police van, Arslan collapsed and died. Later the police team threw Arslan’s body on the roadside and fled.”
Soon after the incident, Isaac TV reporter Saleem Iqbal revealed that the boy was lynched because he had previously refused to renounce his Christian faith. This statement was confirmed by Mushtaq Masih who said that about four months ago, Arslan’s class fellow tried to pressurize him to convert however, Arslan refused him. This resulted in a fight between the boys.
“I did not know about the fight until recently. Arslan had reportedly beaten up a boy whose uncle, Sardar alias Billu, is a constable. Billu nurtured a grudge against Arsalan, and that’s why he brought his police friends with him to teach the poor boy a lesson,” Mushtaq Masih said.
Mushtaq Masih said that an FIR no. 653/17 was registered, with the district police station against the seven officers but they had not been arrested. Sheikhupura Superintendent of Police Sarfraz Virk, has suspended the in-charge officer at the Bahu Chowk police post over charges of negligence in official duties.
“We are trying our best to arrest the nominated accused, who have fled the area since the day of the incident,” Sarfraz Virk said while adding, The boy was not wanted in any case, and it’s quite clear that the policemen had gone there on their own and misused their official authority.”