Christian Man Brutally Attacked in Rawalpindi Railway Colony, Community Calls for Justice

Rawalpindi, March 27, 2024 – A shocking incident of violence has rocked the Railway Colony near Raja Bazar, Rawalpindi, where more than 35 individuals reportedly attacked a Christian man, Razzak Masih, on March 24. The brutal attack, seemingly unprovoked, involved assailants armed with wooden sticks and iron rods.

Razzak Masih, 43, a railway employee and father of three, was preparing for Palm Sunday Mass when he was summoned to his makeshift bed sheet sale point by his son. Upon arrival, Masih was met with a vicious beating from the group. "They almost finished me," Masih recounted to Pak Christian News (PCN), describing how his son's quick actions saved him from being set on fire by the attackers. Masih's son also suffered injuries during the assault.

Masih's struggle to support his family, including a special-needs child, led him to supplement his meager railway salary by selling bed sheets. The spot where Masih displayed his merchandise, a wall adjacent to their colony, became a point of contention with Muhammad Sabar Butt, the main perpetrator. Butt, who reportedly leased land from Pakistan Railways and is involved in the local land mafia, demanded that Masih vacate the area.

Despite Masih's plea to use the space until after Eid, allowing him to earn some income, his request was met with hostility, culminating in the violent attack. "I promised to move after Eid," Masih explained, emphasizing the unreasonableness of Butt's actions.

Shahzad Imran Sahotra, a local political candidate and President of the Christian Awareness Movement (Masihi Tehreek e Bedari), has stepped forward to assist Masih in filing a police report at the Ratta Police Station. Sahotra's social media message condemned the attack and demanded justice and prompt action from Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz, IG Punjab, RPO Rawalpindi, and the SHO of the Ratta Police Station.

Sahotra also highlighted similar recent attacks on Christians in Gujranwala and Faisalabad, noting a lack of police action in these cases. He is advocating for the intervention of minority Members of Assemblies to address these repeated instances of violence against Christians.

As Razzak Masih awaits the X-Ray reports for further medical assessment, the community holds its breath for swift justice and protection against such heinous acts of violence that seem to target religious minorities. This incident not only reflects the individual plight of Masih and his family but also underscores the broader issue of religious intolerance and the urgent need for concrete measures to ensure the safety and rights of minority communities in Pakistan.