Christian Youth Beaten to Death by Factory Owners: Grieving Parents Demand Justice for Their Son

Lahore, June 11, 2024 - In a shocking and brutal incident, 18-year-old Christian youth Waqas Masih was allegedly beaten to death by the owners of the factory where he worked in Sanda, Lahore. The incident has sparked widespread outrage and calls for justice within the community.

Salamat Masih, the victim's father, reported the tragic event to the police. According to the First Information Report (FIR), Salamat, a resident of Nijat Purra, Peera Colony near Akram Park, Lahore, stated that his two sons worked at a plastic bottle factory owned by Haji Saleem. Waqas had recently left his job at the factory.

Speaking to Pak Christian News (PCN), Salamat Masih, the father of Waqas, recounted the harrowing events of June 6. Around 3 PM, Salamat's younger sons rushed home from the factory to inform him that Waqas had been forcibly taken inside and was being brutally beaten by the factory owner, his son Omer Saleem, and other workers named Shahzad, Bilal, and Shani. Alarmed, Salamat, accompanied by his 12-year-old son Awais and other community members, hurried to the factory. Upon arrival, they found Waqas tied up with ropes and being savagely beaten with plastic pipes. Despite their intervention, Waqas was already dead. The factory owner initially pushed them out, falsely claiming that Waqas was merely unconscious. It wasn't until later that day that the family was informed of his death.

The family took Waqas's body to Mayo Hospital Lahore for an autopsy and buried him on June 7. They live in dire conditions, with Salamat Masih, a 55-year-old paralytic, and his wife Rubina, aged 50, struggling to support their remaining children. Rubina recounted the horrifying moments, describing how the factory owners accused Waqas of theft and subjected him to severe torture, including electric shocks and physical assault, leading to his death. Awais, Waqas's younger brother, detailed the gruesome events, explaining how he was forced to clean his brother, who was left immobile due to multiple broken bones. He described the relentless abuse Waqas endured from 10 AM until his death.

Aslam Pervez Sahotra, Chairman of the Masih Millat Party, visited the grieving family, condemning the heinous act and demanding justice for Waqas. He criticized the state's failure to protect minority communities and called for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators. Sahotra also highlighted the illegal use of child labor and poor working conditions at the factory, urging the government to seal the premises and enforce labor laws. Despite the FIR registered under sections 302 and 34 TP on June 6, no arrests had been made as of June 10. The family's financial struggles are compounded by the loss of their primary breadwinner.

The brutal murder of Waqas Masih has underscored the urgent need for stronger worker protections and enforcement of child labor laws in Pakistan. The community's call for justice resonates with broader demands for accountability and reform. The authorities must act swiftly to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure such tragedies are not repeated.

 #JusticeForWaqasMasih #WorkerRights #ChildLabor #HumanRights