Pakistani police have charged a Christian man, Bahadar Masih, and other family members in relation to the killing of Maskeen Khan.

According to the accused on August 15th, 2019 Maskeen Khan tried to rob Bahadar Masih’s house late that night.

Bahadar Masih and his two daughters Rakhal and Arzoo tried their best to stop him from stealing their belongings. Maskeen Khan got violent and attacked the family with a knife and Rakhal and Arzooo were injured.

The family and local Christians called to the local police and held him in their custody until the police arrived. The police arrived an hour later and took Maskeen and other injured people to the hospital. On the same night, a case was registered against Maskeen Khan.

Sadly, the next day Maskeen Khan died in police custody. His family took the body to their hometown Sawat, District Malakand Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after a post-mortem examination. Maskeen’s family claimed that he was murdered by the Christians.

In cross-version statement of Muhammad Hanief, the deceased’s cousin, police added offence under section 302/ 148/149 of the Pakistan Penal Code against five Christians and arrested Bahadar Masih, his cousin Sajid Masih, Sulman s/o Bahadar Masih, Nadeem Masih (neighbour) and a local Muslim Nazar for interrogation.

The police also demanded the injured sisters Rakhal and Arzoo be produced for interrogation. The sense of insecurity increased among the local Christian of Mughal Colony Gujrat and they approached CLAAS for legal assistance.

CLAAS’s team had a meeting with the concerned police officials and demanded a fair investigation as Maskeen died in police custody. CLAAS’s team also had a meeting with members of the local union and reconciliation committee for assurance and to maintain peace in the locality.

Though CLAAS is providing free legal aid to Bahadar Masih’s family and the others accused, pressure continues to mount on the police from local Muslim groups to punish the Christians.