Two Christians have survived after they were fired upon by armed men who wanted to prevent them from regaining possession of their land.
The incident occurred on May 17 in the village of Sankhatra (Punjab province), where the Christian community blocked the streets to protest against the ille-gal occupation of their properties. For months they have been unable to go back into their homes because of a land dispute with a politician from the ruling party. The wounded are Shahbaz Masih Gill, 36, and Samina Tasneem, 28. Both suffered gunshot wounds to the legs and are currently in hospital.
The police took their statement and filed a case under the Pakistan Penal Code, sections 324 (Attempt to commit qatl-i-amd, i.e. murder), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object).
“I was coming home after fixing an electric motor when armed men on a motorcycle stopped and attacked me with wooden sticks and punches,” Gill told.
“With my forehead bleeding, I joined the protest against the attack. We had gathered at 6:50 pm when they returned and shot five fires.” Despite this, “We did not panic and retaliated by throwing bricks at the attackers causing them to flee. That’s when I realised blood was dripping from my right leg.”