Christian teenager beaten to death by classmates in Pakistan

Courtesy The Independent- 

A Christian teenager has been beaten to death by his classmates in Pakistan.

Sharoon Masih was the only Christian in his year and was attacked after he apparently drank from the same glass as a Muslim.

The 17-year-old had only been at MC Model Boys Government School Burewala in Punjab for three days before the incident. The teacher who was present at the time of the attack, Nazir Mol, said he did not notice the incident as he was reading a newspaper, iNews reported.

One student, Muhammad Ahmed Rana, has been arrested so far and he has apparently claimed that he lashed out at Mr Masih after he broke the screen on his phone. Mr Rana has refused to name any of the others who were involved in the attack. An autopsy revealed that Mr Rana died after repeated blows to his body and his head.

His mother described the death as a “huge” loss. “No proper investigation is being done,” Mr Masih’s mother, Razia Bibi, told iNews. “We had great intimacy and were looking to him to support us and his sibling as we grow old,” she added.

He was sent to MC Model Boys Government School Burewala after performing well academically at his school in his local village. His family saved for years to afford the attendance fee and were not able to pay for his school uniform.

Mr Masih attended the first day in his own clothes and was apparently slapped around the face twice and made to stand outside all day as punishment for doing so. He was also subjected to a range of insults and other students reportedly tried to force convert him to Islam.

Wilson Chowdhry, the chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said this was a reminder of the struggles faced by Christians in Pakistan.

“[This] serves only to remind us that hatred towards religious minorities is bred into the majority population at a young age, through cultural norms and a biased national curriculum,” he said.

The headteacher of the school, Saleem Tahir, was suspended after the attack, but is still attending the school.

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