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Christian Cleaner Shot Dead


A local government cleaner was shot dead at 7am whilst cleaning the streets outside the Sialkot Tehsil Municipal Administration (local council) building on 14th January.  

Nazir Masih, a devout Pakistani Christian and father of five children, was undertaking his role as a cleaner in the same way he had done many times before, when gunmen cruelly gunned him down.  Nazir was struck by four bullets and despite the noise this many shots would have made in the constantly busy streets of Pakistan, the gunmen remain unknown. 

Yesterday Christians protested in their town centre demanding a thorough investigation leading to the arrest of the culprits.  They also demanded that his family be compensated by the local council for the loss of a main breadwinner as Nazir was on duty when the crime was committed.  Thus far the council have denied any duty of care and are refusing any assistance for the family. 

The brother of Nazir Masih, said:

"I received a call from Mohammad Shafiq, a sanitary supervisor at my brother's place of work. He advised me that my brother had been shot dead I just cried and cried.  I had to tell his wife and children and the rest of my family it tore my heart to shreds, I loved my brother Nazir so much. After letting the family know I rushed to the place where my brother had been shot and found his dead body surrounded by many people in the street. There was blood all around him. He was such a humble gentle man and had no enemies, I cannot understand why anyone would want to shoot him."

BPCA officer Shamim Masih spoke to District Police Officer Rai Ijaz about the incident.  DPO Rai said:

"We can only guess the motive of the killers and our hunch is that Nazir may have witnessed a crime or seen some sought after criminals.  He simply was at the wrong place at the wrong time and was killed so he could not provide evidence."

DPO Rai has initiated a criminal investigation via police station civil lines and Shamim Masih spoke to the Investigating Officer Mohammed Masood, he said:

"We are saddened by this murder case and have registered a First Investigation Report (FIR) 24/16.  An investigation is under process and will be extremely vigorous. So far the motive of the killer is unknown, this may even have been a small scale terrorist attack. The police authority is committed to find the killer and we hope to have success as it happened in broad daylight."

Chairman of the BPCA, Wilson Chowdhry, said:

"This crime is not one of our usual persecution stories.  Nevertheless through no fault of their own a Christian family now find themselves in serious financial problems due to the loss of a main breadwinner.  This family have little hope of justice and stand no chance of any compensation.  We believe it is our Christian duty to help these victims and we will do whatever we can to help them adjust to their new deplorable situation."

Nazir leaves behind a wife Samina aged 50, and five children Waqar (21 years) , Dilawar (18 years), Zoya (16 years), Zoha (14 years) and Zohaid (11 years). His family now find themselves unable to pay their rent and the school fees for their children.  We would like to help the family and have started an appeal to meet this need.   Four of the children attend school and the monthly cost for their education is £30 each per month.  

If you would like to contribute towards our appeal our bank details, pay pal/visa payment facility can be found (here)

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