Thirty Christian families on the run after Christian boy elopes with Muslim girl
Sana, 23, and Chand Masih, 25, eloped from their houses in Gadowal village on September 21 to an unknown location. The girl’s family searched for her for two days before a local cleric decided to intervene, and turn the heat on the entire Christian community. Local clerics, led by Maulana Farooqi, reached the girl’s home and provoked her father against the Christians who had “pre-planned” the event.
After that a large number of people gathered in the village and warned the Christians to bring back the eloped couple or else their houses would be burnt down.
The Christians fled the village and the locals locked their houses behind them. The area’s Muslim population also took cattle belonging to Chand Masih’s family into their custody.
Two days later a few members of the fleeing Christian community were traced and asked to return the couple.
When they said that they could not find the couple because of a lack of funds, the Muslims sold a cow belonging to Chand’s family for Rs30,000 and gave Rs10,000 to his family to track him and Sana down.
After two days, they traced a few members of the fleeing Christian community and asked them to bring back the eloped couple. When the families expressed their inability to trace the couple due to lack of finances, the Muslims sold a cow of the accused boy’s family for Rs30,000, and gave the family Rs10,000 to trace the couple.
Maulana Farooqi has openly warned the Christians that they have already “hurt their [Muslims’] sentiments by releasing the blasphemous movie [The Innocence of Muslims] and now with this step, they have added fuel to the fire.”
Farooqi said in case they do not bring back the girl, “it would take 10 minutes to teach a lesson to the Christians” of the locality.
The incident took place in Gadowal village, where only 15 Christian families are residing, but some families of adjoining villages have also fled after threats.
The accused boy, Chand Masih, has sent a court order and certificate of his conversion to Islam to the police station, said Raiyya police chief Amanat Ali.
The court order says the girl married of her own choosing, and no one had kidnapped or compelled her to do so, he added.
Ali said the girl’s family was initially not keen on registering an FIR, but one was lodged nonetheless against three Christians. The girl administered intoxicants to her family through food at night and eloped with the boy, he added.
This incident is yet another example of Muslims banding together to incite hatred against Christians in Pakistan and still nothing is being done by the government to protect its minorities.
The whole Christian community was held responsible and made to flee their homes because of the mutual decision of two individuals who had an equal role in eloping.
Laws must be brought into place to protect Pakistani minorities and prevent an entire community being victimised for the actions of individuals, and to punish those who seek to attack innocent people in the name of religion.
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