08/21/2018, 14.47
PAKISTAN
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Lahore, young Christian killed over unpaid loan

by Shafique Khokhar

The victim, Vicky Masih, worked as a courier at the Lahore High Court. He leaves his wife and three young children. His brother: "The police are conniving with the murderers, members of rich criminal families".

Lahore (AsiaNews) - A young 35-year-old Christian was killed in Lahore by some acquaintances on the day of his wedding anniversary. His name was Vicky Masih and he was the son of Saleem Masih. Together with his wife and three children (the oldest only six) he lived in Marzi Pura and attended the Galeeli Church in Lahore. For 10 years he worked as a courier at the high court of the city.

Speaking to AsiaNews Iftikhar Saleem, the victim's younger brother, declares: "The future of his children is forever ruined by these inhuman culprits. We will never forgive them ". The family blames the police for delayed investigation. The killers were Muslims.

The murder took place on August 16th. According to testimony, Vicky was celebrating his wedding anniversary when he received a phone call from some friends who invited him to one of their homes to give him a present. After the festivities ended, he joined them in an apartment not far from his home.

The family told the police that while he was in the company of the same friends, Vicky asked them to return a sum of money he had lent to them, but received a refusal in return. The claim for compensation triggered a discussion that soon degenerated into a violent clash. During the quarrel Muhammad Abbas, one of those present, opened fire. With his stomach pierced by bullets, Vicky begged for mercy, but the group continued to beat him ignoring his cries of pain. Eventually the Christian was abandoned agonizing on the street and the guilty parties fled.

Some residents took the young father to the hospital, where he was declared dead. Police handed the body to doctors for post-mortem investigations. They then registered the case against Muhammad Abbas, Muhammad Fahad, Muhammad Ilya and two other unknown men who fled.

The victim's family and neighborhood residents complain that the officers initiated the investigation and arrested the three killers only after public protest. In fact, to draw attention to the murder and ask for justice, the relatives blocked Ravi Road for three hours in Lahore, showing everyone the battered body of Vicky.

According to the victim's brother, "the police are conniving with the perpetrators, who are part of rich criminal families. It does not work with us because those families are very influential in the area ". "We want justice - he declares -. We are poor and we do not have the strength to fight these thugs. We call upon all the people of God to help us and pray for the wife of Vicky and her three little children: now they are the most vulnerable and defenseless ".

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