The body of 20-year-old Younis Masih was exhumed this week, but officials refused to find the true circumstances surrounding his death, his family told BosNewsLife Friday, October 31. "Although cuts could be seen clearly on his body [they] blatantly concealed the true cause of death and a doctor declared he died because of an accidental electrocution," the family alleged.
Doctor Rajab Allee Warraech and local Judge Farooq Ahmed Waqeel reportedly arrived on October 26 at the Gorra Graveyard of Sargodha, a major town in Pakistan’s Punjab province, but soon left despite the clear evidence of violence and blood, witnesses told BosNewsLife.
"We have submitted an application to register a murder case under artcles 302 and 13-20-65 of Pakistan Penal Code against Dr. Muhammad Naeem" the employer who was allegedly involved in killing the Christian man, said Aslam Masih, a brother of the deceased.
The body of Younis Masih was initially discovered at a construction site at Rehmat Park in Sargodha last month, after he was allegedly axed to death by Dr. Naeem and his family on September 25. Dr. Naeem and his family have denied the charges. In a statement they and police investigators maintained that Masih’s death was due to "an electric shock."
Yet, Masih’s father, Rehmat Masih, told BosNewsLife he is convinced his son was killed by the Muslim family because they were "furious" that he had left them as a household worker earlier this year to find better paid employment elsewhere. "On September 25 they went to [my son’s] home and took him with them for household work." However when he arrived, Dr. Naeem allegedly falsely accused him of stealing 70,000 Pakistani Rupees ($864) and 40 grams of gold jewelery.
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, Masih’s father and other relatives said.
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 near their home and called 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 financially supporting his parents and two single sisters. Christians are a tiny minority in predominantly Muslim Pakistan.