WARNING THIS POST HAS SOME GRAPHIC IMAGES OF BRUISES RECEIVED AFTER AN ATTACK WITH PLANKS
A Christian man was beaten by several men whilst sitting in his shop.
The attack occurred after he asked the Muslim boys to stop catcalling and harassing girls outside a local church
His nephew and a customer were also beaten and were taken to hospital, after they sustained injuries such as fractures and bruising.
After the Muslim boys attacked the shop they rioted and pillaged the local village.
During their rampage they destroyed shops and houses, in response to members of the church standing-up against their crude behaviour.
On the 3rd May 2023, a dispute erupted between several Muslim men and Akash Masih from Sian village, Daska. Akash had told the Muslim men named Mateeh Ullah, Mian Nisar, Shafiq, Qudrat Ullah Ali Mughal, and Abdullah Imran to stop their harassing of Christian girls leaving church after a prayer meeting.
The prayer meeting took place in the United Presbyterian Church, Sian, on the Wednesday evening. Once the meeting was over and people started to leave, several Muslim men starting circling the women on their bikes, catcalling and hooting at them. This had been going on for a while and on many occasions Christians from the church requested the men to stop harassing the girls. It had become a routine that Akash took it upon himself to tell the men to not come before the church gates, especially after the church service ends, as the women were scared and uncomfortable.
These protective words lead to a fight amongst three young men from the church and the Muslim gang. The Muslim men called a larger number of cohorts who on arrival brutally beat Ashan Masih (18 yrs), Akash Masih (26 yrs) and Yashua Masih (22 yrs). Yaqoob Masih (61 yrs) the father Ashan and other elders from the community attempted to stop the beating of the young Christian men, however, the violent Muslim gang could not be stopped and they continued to beat and abuse the Christians . After a call was made to the police the Muslim gang swiftly left the scene of their crime.
Akash Masih (26 yrs), spoke with BACA, he said:
“Over a long period of time, these boys have been harassing our girls, catcalling them and hooting using inappropriate gestures”
“Enough was enough, it became unbearable. How could we allow them to disrespect our women like this?
“We contacted local police but they did nothing.”
Yaqoob Masih told us,
“My son sustained many injuries from the continuous beating of these men.
“They even threatened us with dire consequences for calling the police on them.
“They are very influential and powerful.
“They don’t fear anyone”
The police arrived in 30 minutes and recorded the statements of the victims and any witnesses. An FIR No. 407/23 was registered against the culprits under the sections 147,149 and 506 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). This includes charges for rioting, unlawful assembly and criminal intimidation – read more (here)
The culprits are influential and have have strong political ties therefore the police did not make any arrest. Instead they informed the culprits of the contents of the report from the victims.
The culprits applied for pre-arrest bails from Daska Tehsil Court, which were granted to all of them.
The elders of the culprits then tried to convince Yaqoob Masih to drop the FIR against members of the Muslim gang. They have been using their connections to try to resolve the situation quietly outside of the courts, however, the church committee did not agree to rescind their FIR or drop the court case.
Incensed by the refusal of Christians to back down from their pursuit of justice, the culprits fomented hatred against local Christians and formed a mob that attacked the houses and businesses of the Christian community on 22nd May.
WARNING: The video below shows the violent attack on a Christian community by a growing mob of Muslims.
VIDEO: Rampaging Muslim mob attacks Christians and their property and businesses indiscriminately.
The mob smashed doors and windows, destroyed stalls outside shops, damaged produce and beat Christians. Around 7:30pm Yaqoob Masih was sitting peacefully in his small grocery shop, when suddenly the violent mob attacked him, his nephew and his wife. They repeatedly and brutally struck Yaqoob and his nephew with large planks. They continued their destruction by vandalising a shop counter, and then destroyed a monitor and ruined fruit and vegetables. Parveen Bibi (55 yrs), Yaqoob’s wife, was slapped with extreme force and suffered other physical and verbal abuse.
WARNING: The video below shows graphic CCTV footage of the attack on Yaqoob Masih:
VIDEO: Yaqoob Masih as he was beaten by men with large planks in his shop.
Yaqoob Masih was taken to Tehsil Hospital, Daska, where he was kept under treatment for two days. He received severe bruises to his hands, right arm and the right side of his abdomen. His nephew Yushua Masih received bruises and cuts to his arms and head. X-ray reports have also determined that there are minor fractures on Yaqoob’s right arm.
The latest crimes were reported to local police and another FIR No 466/23 was registered against 12 people under sections: 109,148,149 324,354,382,427 of the PPC. This includes various charges for rioting, criminal damage, assault and attempted murder – read more (here), The police have not yet arrested any of the culprits.
The Muslim community in Sian are financially well off and are politically powerful. There are around 30 Christian families of which the majority work as farm labourers. Christians suffer constant bullying and persecution in the area and this new wave of intensified hatred by Muslims has left them anxious and in a state of extremely low morale.
Abid Masih (35 yrs) a member of church committee spoke with BACA, he said:
“This situation will not deter us no matter what happens we will pursue justice.
“We cannot leave our women vulnerable to the predatory instincts of local Muslims.”
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“This has been an abysmal attack on a vulnerable Christian community.
“It must be terrifying if not soul-sapping to have suffered such a brazen attack, knowing the next one is days away and the authorities meant to protect you have no desire to help.
“The men in this community have been brave enough and will continue to defend the women from the harassment of local Muslims.
“However, with an insouciant local police force it is inevitable that further attacks will occur.
“The perpetrators of the violence have the financial clout and political ties to escape justice and it has allowed the oppression of a tiny Christian enclave.
“A good advocate will be able to resolve this matter temporarily but the Pak-Government and judiciary must be put in the spotlight – they are responsible for the social malaise across the country.
“The mindset of a whole nation must be changed – empowered Muslims must be taught to respect the minorities living amongst them.”
British Asian Christian Association is speaking with the families affected by the recent attacks. We are offering a legal advocate to help with ensuring police conduct a proper investigation into the recent attacks. We are also offering safe houses for those that may need to relocate. This work is expensive and we rely on the generosity of our donors to ensure we can provide our services. If you have been moved by this account and would like to donate please click (here).