Fourteen-year-old Christian boy slayed by Muslim gunmen
Six armed Muslim men attacked a group of Christian men in a market on Monday evening. They started shouting intimidating remarks against Christians, causing alarm among the residents, then opened fire.
Fourteen-year-old Sunil Masih was brutally shot in the chest, causing him to collapse. His uncle, Mehboob Gill, who was also an eyewitness, confirmed that the incident occurred around 5.30 pm in the Christian settlement of Mandiala Warraich, near the Ludhiana store in Punjab Province. One of the perpetrators, who killed Masih, was a local boy called Zaman Butt. The gang arrived on motorbikes, armed with pistols.
Mr Gill stated: “We were talking to each other when suddenly Zaman Butt and his accomplices Anas Yaseen, Adil Abdul Rehman, Ashraf Inayat Ullah and two unidentified men came there on motorcycles. Adil shouted that no Christian in the area should be left alive, after which Zaman opened fire on Sunil with his pistol, hitting him in the chest. Yaseen shot at another Christian boy, identified only as Jamshed, with the bullet only grazing him. The other assailants also opened fire on us with their weapons, but we managed to save ourselves by taking cover of a wall. We rushed Sunil to a local hospital, but he succumbed to his bullet wound before doctors could begin their treatment.”
The gunmen fled the scene and are still at large. The family, immersed in grief, held Sunil’s funeral service. Despite the registration of a complaint, FIR No. 226/24, at the Cantt Police Station in Gujranwala under sections 302, 149, and 148 TP, police have yet to make any arrests.
Reverend Numan Matto of the Gondalanwala Presbyterian Church in Gujranwala says the area has been a vipers’ nest for Christians, who are under constant threat: “In May 2023, some Muslim youths disrupted a marriage ceremony of Christians and also attacked a church. However, the police and the district administration did not take any action against the influential accused despite several protests by the Christian community. If the police had taken stern action against the accused involved in the attack on the church last year, our young child would not have died at the hands of these criminals. Sunil’s murderers are at large, and the audacity of their attack shows that they will not hesitate to strike again. The police will be responsible for any more loss of life of Christians if they do not take adequate security measures.”