Saleem Masih, a 22-year-old Pakistani Christian, was severely tortured by a Muslim landlord in Pakistan’s Kasur District because he used the landlord’s tube-well to bathe. Three days later, on 28 February, Saleem died at Lahore General Hospital due to the severity of his injuries.
On 25 February, Saleem was working as a day labourer in an agricultural field owned by Sher Dogar in Bhagiyana village, located in the Kasur District. Early in the morning, after Saleem finished unloading chaff in the fields, he rinsed himself off in a nearby tube-well. When Dogar and other Muslims saw what Saleem was doing, they rushed over, pulled Saleem out of the water, and began to beat him.
“They abused and tortured [Saleem] for ‘polluting’ the Muslims’ water,” Waris Masih, Saleem’s uncle said. “They got aggressive because a ‘Choora’ (a derogatory term used to denote Pakistani Christians as unclean) dared to make their water unclean. They claimed this would make their entire crop filthy.”
According to multiple reports, Dogar and six other Muslims, including Muhammad Iqbal, Altaf, Ali Shehzad, Jabbar Arain, Mushtaq, and Haji Muhammad, dragged Saleem to Dogar’s cattle farm where they chained him down and tortured him for two hours. According to Saleem’s relatives, he was beaten with sticks and iron rods, struck with electric shocks, and rolled over by an iron rod, causing multiple fractures to his left arm and ribs.
At approximately 9am, Saleem’s father, Ghafoor Masih, was called by the police to Dogar’s cattle farm. There he discovered Saleem unconscious and bloodied due to the torture. Saleem’s father rushed him to the district hospital where he received initial treatment but was transferred to Lahore General Hospital due to the severity of his injuries. Saleem remained in a coma for three days until he died on 28 February.
Police registered a First Information Report against Dogar and the six others who participated in the attack, but none are currently in police custody. According to several local reports, police granted Dogar and the others pre-arrest bail and released them after briefly holding them in custody.
Sources: International Christian Concern, CLAAS-UK
- Ask the Lord to bring comfort to Saleem’s loved ones as they come to terms with this tragedy. Pray they will experience His ministering presence.
- Pray the local authorities will do all they can to ensure justice on behalf of Saleem, his family and the local Christian community.
- Ask the Lord to bring courage to the Christian minority in Pakistan. Pray the Lord’s protection will be upon them.
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