A teenaged Christian boy was beaten to death by six policemen on October 9 in Jabbran district in Pakistan’s Sheikhupura area in Punjab, rights organizations said.
Arslan Masih was an 8th grader at Government High School who got into a fight with a Muslim boy two days ago. The fight was allegedly triggered because Arslan was repeatedly bullied and abused by the boy and his friends.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Organization’s representative, Arslan had won the school fight which didn’t go well with the boy’s father and his uncle, a policeman.
On 9th October after hearing about the fight, the boy’s uncle, Constable Sardar Bilu, arrived at Arslan’s private tuition academy with five other policemen. The policemen confronted him about the altercation. Arslan apologized immediately but the police did not accept his apology. The policeman began pushing Arslan out of the academy grounds to take him to the Police station with them, even though no crime had been committed.
An academy teacher Farhan Ali tried to intervene when he saw Arsalan being manhandled by the police officers. However the teacher received an onslaught of abuse and was slapped several times in the process. Arslan at this point tried to stop the teacher being beaten but ended up getting thrashed with lathis (long wooden truncheon) and the butts of the policemen’s guns. During the beating Arslan became unconscious and he was quickly taken to Babar Medical Clinic – Arslan was pronounced dead on arrival.
Officers participating in this incident include Sub Inspector Imtiaz Constable Rashid, Constable Arshad, Volunteer Robin, and Volunteer Tanveer.
“I have lost my younger brother. He was a very intelligent boy. He got into a fight at school so he could stop the bullying he was receiving. Now he has been killed by lawmen who should be protecting him. Christians have no value in Pakistan but even then my family and I will pursue justice for Arslan.”
Imtiaz Masis (Arslan’s brother)
This is not the first time a christian boy has been murdered on academic premises because of his faith and unfortunately might not be the last either. Just a few months ago Sharoon Masih was killed by his classmates inside the school premise.