Christian shot 8 times for refusing to pay protection money
News Source: Christian Telegraph
A human rights organization has learned that a Christian businessman was shot eight times in the legs while driving through Lahore, Pakistan after refusing to pay protection money to a Muslim, reports Jeremy Reynalds, correspondent for ASSIST News Service.
According to a news release from Christian human rights organization International Christian Concern (ICC),Suqlain Shah, a former policeman, and another man, Sudia, stopped Ayub Gill's car at 2:25 p.m. on July 7, as Ayub was going to buy a property in a nearby town.
Ayub's brother Babar was driving and two other relatives were in the back seat. Suqlain pulled out a gun and dragged Babar out of the driver's seat, threatening to kill him.
ICC said Suqlain then got in the driver's seat and shot Ayub eight times in the legs. After stealing $2,500, they fled on bicycles. Ayub is now recovering in the hospital, but the doctors do not know if he will be able to walk again.
ICC said that Suqlain, who lives near Ayub, had threatened him a few days earlier, when Ayub had bought a car for his brother. It was the family's third car.
When Suqlain saw that they had three cars, he approached Ayub and demanded money. ICC reported he said, “You now have three cars, so give me $3,750. You are a wealthy Christian, so it is my right to get as much money as I need from you. If you don't give it to me, I will kill you.”
Immediately following the shooting, Ayub's brothers went to the police station to submit a report, but it was only accepted after five hours of delay and harassment. ICC said that was attributable in part to Suqlain's brother being a constable in the police force. The police have taken no action to prosecute this case.
Mobeena, Ayub's sister, told ICC, “Suqlain is still free and hanging around. The government has done nothing to help us, even though my brother is a prominent businessman. We feel insecure, our children are too scared to go out anymore - please help us, we need justice.”
When ICC contacted the Pakistani embassy in Washington, D.C., embassy officials denied any knowledge of the incident and said, “Pakistani police stations do not ask if someone is Muslim or Christian - they don't discriminate on that basis.”
However, according to ICC sources, police regularly ask religious affiliation for identification even though it is not required on report forms.
ICC asked those interested to contact the Pakistani embassy closest to them and ask for justice for Ayub Gill and his family.
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