Muslim Neighbour Opens Gun Fire over House Extension of Christian Neighbours
May 2022, Wah Cantt city, Pakistan. A Christian family’s son and Rajesh Bhatti and cousin Niqash Bhatti were building an extension on the top floor of their house when their neighbour Mohammad Shahid Iqbal and his brother Mohammad Humayun Iqbal tried to stop them, complaining of the noise they were making. Both parties brought the matter before a lawyer. The local lawyer explained that legally the owner has a right and is allowed to extend the building. However, when both parties returned after meeting the lawyer, the two brothers opened fire on Rajesh and Niqash.
Rajesh was shot six times; two in his foot, two in the knee and two in his thigh. Niqash was shot four times; with two bullets in his knee and two in his thigh. They were also beaten on the face
after each bullet shot. The dispute actually began two months before, when the Christian family was praying in their home and the neighbours claimed that their loud praying and singing hymns disturbed them. There was also another previous incident in the summer of 2018 when their Catholic Priest, Fr. ames Shamaun, came to conduct Sunday mass at this same house. Because it was a bigger house owned by this Christian family, Christian gatherings and Sunday prayers were a regular occurrence. After one service the Muslim neighbour began an argument with a church member, Pyara Masih, when he came out of the Sunday service, and shot him in the legs. The priest later pardoned the culprit and the situation remained calm for three years.
Mother of Nakash Bhatti beg for Justice and arrest of the culprit to the Authorities. Local Christian community staged a street protested, demanding arrest of Mohammad Humauyan Gujjar.
Rajesh Masih is a 22-year-old boy. His mother works at a housekeeping job in a city and his father is a sanitary worker. Rajesh was in his second year of a lab technician course. The family was planning a wedding for Rajesh and building another story on the house for him and his bride, so that after his marriage he could live separately. His cousin Niqash works as a salesman in a local clothing store and was helping him with the construction.
Both victims were admitted to the Taxila hospital but remain in fear. The mother of Rajesh said she has nightmares and awakes in the middle of her sleep to visit her son to make sure he was not attacked again in the hospital. The Christian community walked through the city demanding the government to arrest the culprits, but both are running free. This is very alarming to the
Christian family. In particular, the mother of Rajesh feels very unsafe and begs for help to relocate. She claims Pakistan is not a safe country for Christians.