Christian man tortured in Pakistan for 'befriending' Muslim woman

A 21-year-old Christian man was allegedly assaulted and burnt with hot iron rods by the family of a Muslim woman for ‘befriending’ her in Pakistan’s Punjab province, according to a media report. Ansar Masih first established contact with the Muslim woman two years ago and their friendship grew with time, Dawn News reported.

They often spoke over phone and Masih would also visit the woman’s neighbourhood to meet her, according to the First Information Report (FIR) signed by Masih’s sister at a Sheikhupura police station. When the woman’s family learned of the friendship, her father, Manzoor, and her brothers called Masih’s father asking him to tell his son to stay away from the woman, warning them of dire consequences if their instructions were not followed, the FIR stated.

Earlier this month, Ansar’s mother sent him to run an errand in the woman’s neighbourhood where he was allegedly kidnapped by the accused and his two sons, the report stated. The three unclothed him, beat him and burned him using hot iron rods, it said. The FIR further stated that the accused then brought Ansar to his house and told his family that he had met with an accident. Ansar’s family then rushed him to Sheikhupura’s District Headquarters Hospital where, after gaining consciousness, he narrated the incident.

He received severe burn wounds and after failing to get proper medical care in Sheikhupura, he was shifted to a hospital in Lahore. Ansar’s condition was reported to be stable. His sister lodged the FIR following which the police took the accused into custody. The victim’s father was quoted as saying that the family was being pressured by the accused as well as the area police to reconcile and take back the case.

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