03/14/2022, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Christian family defends itself from robbery but is accused by the police

by Shafique Khokhar

Although the robbers injured Mr Mushtag Masih in the leg, police took his two sons into custody, releasing them only after bail was paid. Shirjeel Zafar, a lawyer, slams police for their biased action in seeking justice.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Another Pakistani Christian family has become the victim of a grave injustice in Lahore.

On the night of 23 February, three people tried to rob a Christian family who live near their fields, far from the residential area of ​​Mohladan.

While fighting to protect his family and save his daughter's dowry, Mushtag Masih caught one of the criminals. The other two thugs managed to escape but before they opened fire and hit Mr Masih in the leg.

After calling the emergency number, the family handed the outlaw – alive – to Pakistani police. However, the next day, police filed a First Information Report against Masih and his family, accusing them, under the Penal Code of Pakistan, of killing the criminal.

The police took Masih's two sons into custody and only released them last Saturday after a court accepted their bail application. “We are poor and Christian and they are putting pressure on us," Mushtag explained.

Shirjeel Zafar, a lawyer, spoke to AsiaNews about the affair. “It is very sad to see that Pakistani Christians are going through a hard time,” he said. Eventually, he found out that the robbers were aware that the family was putting aside gold and other goods for the daughter's wedding.

“Prejudice governs police behaviour when it comes to providing justice to poor families", the lawyer said. Still, he hopes that “the family will obtain justice and all those who broke the law will be brought to court.”

The fate of the Masih family is not the unique. Scores of Christians have suffered as a result of the same attitude by police.

Meanwhile, a Christian sub-inspector, Rose Mary, committed suicide at the city division police station in Sadiqabad, a township (tehsil) in Rahim Yar Khan district, for unknown reasons.

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