The body of Younis Masih was discovered at a construction site at Rehmat Park in the Pakistani town of Sargodha in Punjab province, last month, after he was allegedly axed to death by a suspect identified as Dr Naeem and his family on September 25. Dr. Naeem and his family have denied the charges. In statement the family and police investigators said Masih’s death was "accidental death due to an electric shock."
However Masih’s father, Rehmat Masih, told BosNewsLife he is convinced his son was killed. The Muslim family was allegedly furious because he left them to find better paid employment elsewhere. Months later, “On September 25 they arrived at his home and took him with them for household work.” However once he arrived, Dr Naeem allegedly falsely accused him of stealing 70,000 Pakistani Rupees and 40 grams of gold jewelery.
Family members said Dr Naeem his wife and their son “tortured and thrashed” the Christian young man, with clubs and iron rods “for several hours in a barbarian way,” before eventually axing him to death.
His oldest brother, Ahmed Masih, told BosNewsLife that Younis Masih sustained three fatal injuries. "They hit his head skin and skull, and his right arm was chopped off." Under Islamic law the penalty for theft is amputation of an arm. After he died, the Muslim family allegedly threw him in an empty plot right near their home, calling Punjab’s Rescue Service 1122 to say that “a seriously injured man is lying in front of the house in critical condition."
When rescuers arrived they reportedly took Masih’s body to the Divisional Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) of Sargodha and eventually informed his family. The family said Dr Naeem misused his influence and contacts with police and medical doctors to describe the death as an "accident due to an electric shock," without allowing an independent autopsy.
Local Christians told BosNewsLife that they believe excavation of the grave and an autopsy “would reveal the truth and a murder case…" It comes at a time of mounting tensions in several parts of Pakistan between Christian and Muslim communities. Rights groups have complained that Christians often lack police protection and equal representation in courts.
Younis Masih was the youngest among nine impoverished brothers and sisters, and unmarried. He was living and supporting his parents and two single sisters. Christians are a tiny minority in predominantly Muslim Pakistan.