Published: 09:00 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 13 October 2011
Pakistani Christian killed in Muslim land grab attack
Country/Region: Pakistan, South and East Asia
A young Pakistani Christian man was shot dead in a violent Muslim takeover of land allocated to a Christian village by the government.
Saqib Masih (22)
was killed on the spot
Saqib (Sabir) Masih (22) was killed on the spot, and 37 people, including a one-year-old and seven other children, were seriously injured as a mob of around 60 Muslims descended on the village in Mian Channu, Punjab, on Wednesday (5 October). The wounded were taken to hospital; six of them were described as being in a critical condition.
The Muslim aggressors came to the Christian village to claim a plot of land that had been allocated by the government to house a resident workman. It had been illegally sold to two Muslims by the worker who was being accommodated there; he then fled with the proceeds of US$1,500.
The “buyers” arrived along with around 60 armed accomplices and attacked the female members of one family. As other villagers rushed to their aid, the assailants opened fire on them.
A church leader said:
We strongly condemn this murder. This is not the first incident of land grabbing in the district. Influential feudals target the weak and the vulnerable.
The attackers occupied the property on the land before the police arrived and arrested 13 armed men; other perpetrators escaped the scene.
CLAAS, a Pakistani Christian legal organisation supported by Barnabas Fund, is investigating the incident. The team was assured by the police that the matter would be dealt with according to the law.