Christian Man’s Nine-Day Fight for Life Ends in Tragedy Following Sargodha Mob Lynching

In a tragic turn of events, a Christian man, Nazir Masih, who was the victim of a violent mob attack in Sargodha, Punjab, has passed away. The incident, which took place on May 25, 2024, was sparked by allegations of blasphemy.

The situation escalated when an enraged mob descended upon Masih’s residence in the Mujahid Colony area. The mob, acting on the alleged desecration incident, caused significant damage to Masih’s property, including a shoe factory within his residence. The mob also caused damage to local electricity installations and set fire to tyres.

Upon receiving information about the escalating situation, a heavy police contingent was dispatched to the area. The police managed to rescue Masih and his family, moving them to an undisclosed location for their safety. The police presence in the area was bolstered by the presence of District Police Officer (DPO) Asad Aijaz and Regional Police Officer (RPO) Sharik Kamal Siddiqui.

In an attempt to control the situation, the police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the mob. At least 25 individuals, allegedly involved in the riots, were arrested. The police have assured that the situation has been brought under control and that no one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands.

RPO Siddiqui stated that legal action would be initiated against those found guilty of committing blasphemy, following a thorough investigation into the incident. Sargodha Division Commissioner Muhammad Ajmal Bhatti also pledged that those involved in the incident would face justice, following a transparent inquiry into the incident.

Despite the violent nature of the incident, officials confirmed that there were no fatalities at the time. However, Nazir Masih, who sustained injuries during the incident, was admitted to the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi. Despite undergoing two surgeries, Masih did not recover from the injuries inflicted on his head and succumbed to his wounds more than a week after the incident.

The incident has drawn widespread condemnation, with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) expressing concern over the situation in Sargodha. The HRCP has urged the Punjab Police and district administration to restore calm in the area and bring the perpetrators to justice immediately.

This incident has sparked widespread outrage and protests, particularly among the Christian community. It has also drawn international attention, with rights groups condemning the violence and calling for immediate action.

The incident began when Nazir Masih and Sultan Masih were accused of desecrating pages of the Quran and discarding them in front of their factory. This led to a local cleric instigating violence against the Christian community.

The tragic death of Nazir Masih has once again brought the issue of blasphemy laws and their misuse to the forefront. It underscores the urgent need for reforms to prevent such incidents in the future.

The tragic incident in Sargodha is a stark reminder of the religious intolerance that persists in our society. It is a call to action for the authorities and the public alike to promote interfaith harmony and ensure the protection of minority rights. As we mourn the loss of Nazir Masih, let us also pledge to stand against such acts of violence and work towards a more tolerant and inclusive Pakistan.

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