On January 23, 2017 at about 6 in the morning a house belonged to a Christian family was given fire by the local Muslims who wanted to grab the house property of Rahmat Masih aged about 68 – 70 years. The house is totally burnt and everything inside the house turned in to ashes. We thank God that there is no loss of lives, the perpetrators sets Christian Family’s home on fire to threatened and warn the family and force them to leave the place. In the same evening Katherine Sapna Director Christians’ True Spirit – CTS received the news by the locals, who requested for help the victim family. Rehmat Masih was seriously injured and burn and has been shifted to the District Head Quarter (DHQ) Hospital Kasur. The doctors and the medical staff at DHQ were not cooperative to the poor family regarding the treatment of Rehmat Masih. Later with the joint efforts of CTS members Dr. Riaz Assi and other friends get involved in to the matter and insisted doctors to admit the old man Rehmat Masih in the hospital for proper treatment. The next day on January 24, 2017 CTS team including Katherine Sapna, Asifa Sadaf and Dr. Salamat Gill visited Rehmat Masih in the hospital and saw him in a bad situation.
According to the CTS team opinion Rahmat Masih is afraid of his life. He was suffering with a high temperature and worried for his daughter and other family members. CTS team assured the full support for the medical care as well as legal support to Rehmat Masih and his family in this case. Case FIR no 70/17 under section 436 /427/380/354/506 of the Pakistan Penal Code has been lodged against the culprits in the Saddar police station Kasur on January 24, 2017. One person from the accused persons named Basharat S/o Mohammad Din was given interim bail (temporary bail) from the district courts Kasur on January 25, 2017. CTS have asked the services of one of the CTS team lawyers Mr. Nadeem Hussan advocate High Court. The victim has signed the power of attorney and CTS lawyer will contest the bail of the said accused in the district courts of Kasur.
Katherine Sapna assured the family for full support of CTS in this hard time and said that CTS will not leave them alone. Rehmat Masih is widow and has two daughters only. They both are married and settled with their husbands, after the marriage of his younger daughter Sajida Bibi aged 25, Rehmat Masih was alone and he used to live along with Sajida at her in-law’s place. Meanwhile a small property of Rehmat Masih was in the eye of Muslim neighbors who wanted to extend their property. They tried several times to take possession on the property but remained fail. Rehmat Masih and his daughter Sajida and her husband Javed Masih stared living in this house at Bahadarabad District Kasur. The family has been pressurized and threatened to leave the place by Muslims including Basharat and others otherwise they would have to face severe consequences. Sajida Bibi informed CTS team that only one and half month ago she was raped by four men including Basharat (the nominated accused in the FIR) who entered the house forcefully when she was alone and raped her after one another. She was seeking justice and tried to get registered a case against the culprits according to the criminal act but the police in the local police station was not cooperative. The rapists threatened the family for the brutal consequences if they tried to register the legal case. Therefore they burn the house she said.
CTS team visited the occurrence place as well and saw the house which was totally burn and there was nothing left. All belongings turned in to ashes even then the family do not have cloths to wear and their beds, bedding and their shelter, everything finished.
Facts of the incident:
Mohammad Basharat is close neighbor of Rahmat Masih, whereas the houses are adjacent to each other. Rehmat Masih own a small piece of land which Basharat asked him several times to sell out to him because he wants to extend his house, but the same time he did not offered the full rate cost of the land.
Rehmat Masih was never willing to sell his house property to any one as he is not in the financial position to buy a new house at other area therefore he denied to do so. Basharat is an influenced man in the locality and he never expected the denial from Rehmat Masih. He become aggressive and in reaction he raped Rehmat Masih’s daughter Sajida w/o Javed Masih a month and half ago along with three other people.
Rahmat Masih an old poor man demonstrated the rape of his daughter in the police station but they were not given relief, FIR was not registered. Police in the local police station flatly refused Rehmat Masih and his daughter to get registered case FIR against the accused Basharat because they are weak, vulnerable and disadvantaged.
The poor Sajida along with her husband Javed Masih and father Rehmat Masih visited Noor Pur Chooki (local police station) for several times but the compliant of rape was not lodge.
To give fire to the house is an open threat to the well being of Rehmat Masih and his family. The Muslims tried to burn the family inside the house to grab the property easily. Luckily they are safe. Rehmat Masih got injured in the legs and arms because the ceiling of the house fell down over him after burning.
The house was not properly build, the roof was not pave or solid, it could catch the fire easily and immediately. Rehmat Masih tried to save Sajida Bibi and her minor daughter Anmool aged 2 years and meanwhile he himself was burnt with fire.
Rehamt Masih and his family is the victim of religious persecution and religious prejudice. They deserve support and assistance for survival.
Katherine Sapna Director CTS promised the family to help and provide assistance in the legal case as well as the medical expenses in the hospital. CTS also promised to provide shelter to the family and rebuild the house and to provide other belongings as well.
We request your prayers for Rehmat Masih who is in the Hospital and the other family member especial Sajida Bibi who is afraid and not feeling safe.
Christians’ True Spirit