It was Wednesday Morning, February 08, 2017 Ms. Katherine Sapna Director CTS received an information through reliable resource about Muslim’s attack on Christian women at Sankhatra a small village of district Narowal, 115 kilometer from Lahore. Soon after receiving news CTS team contacted Mr. Shahzad Munshi MPA as well as concerned authorities requesting immediate help and security of the poor persecuted at Sankhatra.
Christian women and children were attacked by 200 Muslims armed with deadly weapons as well as wooden rods, the women beaten up severely and maltreated in the streets. The poor Christians were afraid and seeking for help. They called upon 15 for the emergency help by the police but remained fail. Due to the pressure of CTS and other networks security was provided to the poor Christians.
The background of the circumstances was a dispute of the church property (Presbyterian Church), 3 Kanals and 9 Merlas of land on the main road with the handsome value today. The Muslims want to take this property in possession by pressure, threats and harassing the poor Christians. The Muslims has been threatening the Christian community for severe consequences and for implicating them in to blasphemy accusations if they are not willing to leave the place. The Muslims has tried once earlier to take the Christian’s land which belongs to the church in illegal possession, and tried to build plaza/market over there. The other side Christians approached the court on time and they got stay order for the land and Muslims has had to stop construction in anyway.
Again on February 8, 2017 Muslims tried once again to start construction at the said disputed place whereas the property belong to Christians and they have stay order from the court that Muslims cannot build anything on this land till the decision of the case of permanent injunction which is already in the Revenue court since on year. When the Christians stopped the Muslims for building something in the land they attacked them and beat them severely without caring for women and children.
The security of local Christians was on priority therefore CTS, individuals and human rights network demanded the proper security immediately at the spot. Police reached at the spot later but did not save Christians from Muslims beating.
The Christian women and men were injured due to attack by a group of Muslim land Mafia but 5 women and 2 men were severely injured, including Sakina Bibi w/o Hameed Masih who got severe injury in her right eye and Rehmat Bibi w/o Waseem Masih she got her leg fracture. Therefore Pastor of the local church Rev. Asher Aftab s/o Moon Ijaz has filed a complaint in the police station Zafarwal for the registration of case FIR against the attackers namely Mohammad Sajad Ahmad s/o Mohammad Ismail, Mansha Bhatti, Ghullam Hussain Bhatti s/o Yousaf Bhatti, Irshad Khan, Khalid Khan s/o Khiyat Khan. The accused has a strong political back as well as influenced people therefore the local police was afraid to file a case FIR against them.
Police delayed the registration of the case and showed less interested to help Christians in this matter. Due to the repeated calls of Mr. Shahzad Munshi to the DPO Narowal a case FIR no. 48/17 was registered on February 09, 2017 against the above said accused persons offense under section 354, 147, 149 PPC. Till the date the local police did not arrested any of the accused and delayed the medical examine of the victims.
On Feb 23, 2017 CTS – Christians’ True Spirit has filed Harassment Petition in the Sessions’ Court Zafarwal on Behalf of seven victims of village Sankhatra District Narowal, through Mr. Shahbaz Fazal Saroya Advocate High Court and Legal Consultant/counsel of CTS on Feb 23, 2017. The Christian victims been Harassed and threatened by the Muslim Land Mafia, after a legal case registered against them in the local Police Station for attacking women, torn clothes and beat them in the streets and Bazar.
The Harassment Petition is pending in the Court of Mr. Mohammad Ishaq Hashar Additional District and Session Judge, Zafarwal on Saturday, March 04, 2017. CTS have prayed to the concerned court for the protection of the local Christians at Sankhatra as well as the possible arrest of the accused.