A 17-year-old Christian has been beaten to death by his fellow classmates at a school in Pakistan. Sharoon Masih, the lone Christian student in his year, had only attended the school in South Punjab for three days. After complaining to his parents of bullying, he was set upon by pupils after drinking from the same glass as a Muslim, according to other students at the MC Model Boys Government School Burewala who witnessed the attack.
Mr Masih’s teacher, Nazir Mol, originally claimed that he had not noticed any disturbance in the classroom as he had been reading a newspaper at the time. Autopsy reports confirm that Mr Masih died as the result of repeated blows to his head and body.
Police have arrested one student, Muhammad Ahmed Rana, who told police that he lashed out after Mr Masih broke the screen on his phone. Mr Rana has so far refused to name others involved in the attack, which occurred on August 27th. “No proper investigation is being done,” Mr Masih’s mother, Razia Bibi, said. His loss is “huge” to the family, she added, “we had great intimacy and were looking to him to support us and his sibling as we grow old.”
The killing “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”, said Wilson Chowdhry, the chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, which is raising money to hire a solicitor to “circumnavigate police inertia.” In April, a Pakistani university student was beaten to death and had his corpse dragged around campus by a mob of his peers, after an unconfirmed allegation that he committed blasphemy.