The victim’s son, Shahbaz Masih, said that when his father confronted Muhammad Intizar, Muhammad Awais and one identified only as Usama, the trio allegedly called him a “chuhra,” a pejorative label for Christians with “no chance at justice” even if they killed him. Masih said that they then then shot his father in the chest, killing him instantly.
“The murderers threatened me that they would kill our family if we informed the police,” Masih told Morning Star News.
Despite the threats, the family has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the three men at the Renala Khurd Police Station under charges of premeditated murder (Section 302) and “common intention” (Section 34) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Masih said that police have arrested Intizar, while Awais and Usama remain at large.
“Usama’s father is a retired army officer, and he offered us 500,000 rupees (US$1,810) as blood money to drop the charges against his son,” Masih said. “We have rejected his offer, because we want justice for our slain father.”
Ditta’s wife, Josephine Bibi, said that the family was struggling with day-to-day expenses since her husband was killed.
“We are good Christian people who have always gotten along with our Muslim neighbors,” she told Morning Star News. “These young men are the vilest of creatures who bear immense evil in their hearts.”
Bibi lamented that her husband would never see his children through marriage and other life stages.
“I demand justice for my slain husband; he was killed because he was a Christian,” she said.
Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.
This article originally appeared here.