Image of some of the bricks thrown at local Christians of Shad Bagh
Lahore: A Muslim mob equipped with lethal arms attacked the Christian Colony of Shad Bagh in the metropolitan area of Lahore on July 28, 2013, vandalizing a Catholic Church and homes of Christians. One Christian was injured with a severe bullet wound.
“On Sunday July 28, 2013 at about 4:00 pm, a local resident Martian Javed Michel a social justice activist, informed us about the overwrought situation of Christians and Muslims in Shad Bagh, Amir Road near Joseph Colony Lahore. He advised us that an infuriated mob of Muslims attacked houses of the local Christians and one Catholic Church with deadly weapons.
The local Christian residents have told us that a Muslim television cable operator named Faisal Butt, who has a criminal background and an extremely poor attitude towards Christians, was charging extra fees for TV cable connections for Christians.
About a month ago Faisal Butt and his companions had a dispute with a Christian widow and attacked the woman and her children, whilst demanding extra fees.
On July 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm one of Mr Butt's helpers named Asad was collecting cable fees in the Christian Colony, Shad Bagh. He also came to a Babu Younis house and asked for the fees also. Babu UYounis has allowed his property to be a booster site for the Cable connections locally. He informed Asad of this agreement and stated he was not required to provide the fees. Despite this agreement Asad was trying to force Babu Younis to pay the money for cable fees. Babu replied that he would remove the booster station form his house if he was required to pay the fee. On hearing this Asad became furious and started to beat him. Christians Neighbours rallied to help Babu Younis, and the matter was resolved temporarily.
After one an hour Faisal Butt came along with a group of 30-35 people all armed with deadly weapons. They began to open fire in the air and also started throwing stones and bricks on the Christians houses of Shad Bagh Colony. They also attacked the Catholic Church and broke the glass of the church windows. They shouted abuse at local Christians and caused much terror and anxiety.
Riaz Masih s/o Babu Younis received a shot to his leg and was severely injured. Vejay Masih s/o Niamat Masih who suffers form cancer, was injured after being struck by the butt of a pistol on his forehead. There were a few other victims who suffered injuries. The aggressors fired on Christian houses for over one hour and on leaving warned Christians that their houses would be burned just like St Joseph Colony, if they took legal action against the perpetrators.
Local residents have shared their plight with Chaudhry Shahbaz MPA (Member of Provincial Assembly), a politician form Muslim League -N, the ruling party in Pakistan. Some Christians went with Babu Younis to the concerned police station Shad Bagh, Lahore to lodge a legal case FIR (First Information Report) against Faisal Butt and his companions for this violent attack. On the same day Police arrested the main accused Faisal Butt while others had absconded.
Wilson Chowdhry said;
"This attack so soon after the Attack on St Joseph's Colony has terrified local people. Even so they have been bold enough to speak out to local authorities and their courage is commendable. Threats are still being received by this community. Please pray for justice for this community and a rapid return to normality. Please also pray for the victim who was shot and his speedy recovery."