Around 100 Christians including men, women and children residing at Mozang Nauabad, Sheikhupura have been forcefully expelled from their homes.
According to Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra, founder of Masihi Millat Party, Christians had constructed 20 homes on state land from the time of Partition but in June this year, twenty families were asked to leave otherwise they would be forcefully vacated.
The Christians refused to leave their homes despite the threats. Then came the violence.
According to the police complaints, at around 10am on a Sunday as the Christians were present in their homes, around 10 identified armed attackers forcibly entered and took them hostage. They then looted valuables worth several lakhs of rupees, including furniture from the local church.
Sahotra narrated that the culprits then threw them out of their homes and threatened them with dire consequences if they took any legal action. He added that the affected Christians nevertheless knocked at the door of police to get justice but no FIR was registered against the powerful Muslim attackers.
As a result, the affected Christians protested outside the Lahore Press Club and on August 30, an FIR was finally registered at the Sharqpur Police Station. Despite the police complaint, no action was taken. Then, on October 5, the Punjab additional home secretary was given an application to arrest the culprits and provide justice to the vulnerable minority community but even then there has been no movement on the issue.
According to Sahotra, after the horrific incident, the affected Christians have migrated to Lahore, Gujranwala and other cities where they have taken shelter at homes of relatives.
“Poor Christians cannot fight with powerful people. We only want the state to protect Christians under the Constitution of Pakistan,” he said.
Explaining the reasons behind the incident of land-grabbing, Sahotra claimed that near his village some Christians had purchased three kanals of land from local Muslims. After the transaction, the government announced the River Ravi Housing Scheme following which the real estate rates skyrocketed and the Muslims demanded their land back at the same rates. When the Christians refused, the Muslims thought they would teach the Christians a lesson, he alleged.