Three weeks have passed since the lynching of Christian man Sunil Saleem Masih by medical staff and security at Services Hospital in Sialkot, but thus far no action has been taken by authorities. A full account of the lynching can be read in the Pakistani daily newspaper Tribune (click here)
On 12th April 2018 Additional Session Court Judge, Mr. Yasser Nadim, was presiding over the trial of Sunil Saleem’s murderers in Sialkot High court. He allowed an adjournment as the police investigation called for more time. Police officers told the court that their Forensic unit were trying to obtain footage which doctors of Service Hospital had allegedly tampered with and only retained footage of the attack by security officers and not doctors as this had been deleted.
There were large numbers of doctors outside the court in support of the accused hospital staff who all seemed offended by the notion that Christians, dared accuse any of their peers of murder. Anti-Christian slogans were being shouted outside the court by the off-duty medical staff who accused Christians of being “demonic liars” and “impure”.
On Easter Monday Aneel Masih said:
“Yesterday was Easter, but for me it was a day of mourning because my brother’s murderers are still at large. A week has gone by but the police still remain in the dark.”
“I have not been asked by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to identify the culprits or give my testament,” he stated, exhibiting frustration at the lacklustre investigation. “I have requested a wholesale change of members of the committee on behalf of my family, but nothing is being done to respond to our pleas.” he declared.
Shadman Police Investigation Office Inspector Husnain Hyder told Dawn news last week that authorities are in a helpless position. “We cannot arrest the culprits since they possess pre-arrest bails”, he said.
“We have confiscated all evidence, including CCTV footage and have started raiding other culprit’s homes but we stand nowhere,” he reiterated
In the same article Hyder stated: “The JIT are doing everything possible in their power to resolve the situation. If the deceased’s family wants to reform the JIT, let them do it,” he stated while shrugging his shoulders. “We will apprehend all those responsible as soon as possible,” he reassured.
The Health department have missed two deadlines for submitting a report and are still inspecting CCTV footage.
The family have told BPCA on Saturday 22nd April, that to-date none of them have been interviewed by the JIT in what they believe is an attempt to subvert justice.
“Tomorrow (23rd April) the trial is to continue in Lahore High Court, but without any CCTV footage or attempt to obtain testimonies from any of our family members, how can a just decision be reached?
“A woman has been widowed, children have been left without a father but no-one is attempting to bring my brother’s murderers to trial. These killers have obtained pre-arrest bail whilst on a murder trial because Christian lives are worthless in Islamic countries.
“Even though I fear nothing will come of tomorrows trial, I will attend, we will fight for justice for my brother despite the impossibility of the task.”
Masih’s family remains in limbo. It has been demoralising that the murder suspects that included several qualified doctors still remain at large despite glaring evidence against them.
The deceased was lynched in Services Hospital’s gynaecology emergency ward where he and his relatives had brought his pregnant sister Kiran Kashif. Incensed by the demand by the Christian family that Kiran receive fair treatment despite her faith, medical staff began to beat the male members with weapons that included medical instruments, which ultimately claimed Masih’s life. The story caught the attention of media after a video depicting the brawl went viral on social media.