An 18-year-old Christian youth, Waqas Masih, from Sanda, Lahore, was brutally killed by the Muslim factory owners where he worked. The factory owners falsely accused him of stealing a large sum of money. After Waqas had stopped going to the factory in hopes of finding a better job, his family claims he suffered severe violence, leading to his death. This incident has sparked community outrage and calls for justice.

Salamat Masih, father of Waqas, reported in his First Information Report (FIR) that he lives in Nijat Purra, Peera Colony, near Akram Park, Lahore. His two sons were working in the plastic bottle factory owned by Haji Saleem. A few days earlier, his elder son Waqas had left the factory. On June 6th, around 3 PM, his younger son came running from the factory and informed him that Haji Saleem, his son Omer Saleem, and other factory workers Shahzad, Bilal, and Shani had forcibly taken Waqas into the factory and brutally beaten him.

Salamat Masih immediately went to the factory with his 12-year-old son Awais and other people. Upon arrival, he saw Waqas tied with ropes and being beaten with plastic pipes by Haji Saleem, Omer Saleem, and the other factory workers. By then, Waqas was already dead. The factory owner pushed them out, claiming Waqas was merely unconscious. By 3 PM, Waqas was declared dead. The family called the police, and in the evening, when Salamat’s elder son Kashif arrived at the factory, they took the body to Mayo Hospital Lahore for an autopsy. Waqas was buried on June 7th.
The Masih family, who are Catholic Christians, live in dire conditions in a shop. Salamat and his wife, Rubina, have five children: three sons and two daughters. The two daughters and the elder son, Kashif, are married and live separately, while Waqas and Awais lived with their parents. Now, only the 12-year-old Awais remains with the parents.

Waqas’ mother, Rubina, recounted that the factory owner accused Waqas of theft, claiming they needed to recover stolen money from him. She offered to pay back any stolen amount but begged them not to hurt her son. Awais told her that when Waqas had some breaths left, he asked him to bring their mother to save his life. However, when they arrived, it was too late. Waqas was already dead, his body lying on the factory floor with open eyes. Witnesses claimed he had been tortured even after death, with electric shocks and being thrown from the factory roof.

Awais, the younger brother of Waqas, stated that the factory owner, his sons, and other unknown persons locked all other children in a room and tied Waqas, beating him and giving him electric shocks. The abuse started around 10 AM when someone reported seeing Waqas outside the factory. The owner and his sons dragged Waqas inside, tied him with ropes, and began beating him. At lunch break, they sent the other children home but called Awais to clean his brother, who had soiled himself due to his injuries. Waqas, unable to move with many broken bones, whispered to Awais to bring their mother to save him. Awais was not allowed to leave until 3 PM when he was called again and told to bring his mother as Waqas was unconscious. By the time Salamat, who is paralyzed and under treatment, arrived at the factory, Waqas was dead.

Kashif Salamat, the elder brother of Waqas, explained that he is married with his own family and works as a sanitary worker on a contract basis. He had taken Waqas to work with him as a sanitary worker, but Waqas lost the job when the contractor lost the LWMC contract. Waqas had worked at the factory for only one and a half months before leaving to find a better job. Kashif insisted that his brother was not a thief.

The FIR was registered at Islam Purra police station on June 6th under sections 302 and 34 TP. However, no arrests had been made by June 10th, and the autopsy report had not been issued to the family. The family is impoverished and struggling to cover expenses, especially after losing the earning member, Waqas.

This tragic incident underscores the urgent need for justice and better protections for minority workers in Pakistan. The Masih family and the community continue to demand accountability and reforms to prevent such tragedies in the future.