06/01/2012 Pakistan (CIC) - Christian women from Faisalabad were on their way back home after attending the funeral service of their relative from Sandhilianwala, in Toba Tek Singh, when their van was stopped by traffic police near the railway level crossing, Pir Mahal on May 21, 2012.
The driver, Shahbaz Masih (also a Christian) was abused by the traffic officer and later sent to jail for protesting an illegal fine. The Christian women passengers were badly tortured by the police, and police tried to snatch the camera of a local TV reporter for covering their manhandling and baton charging.
Local journalist Sultan Sidho told ANS, "The driver was asked to show the registration and other required papers. The driver showed the required papers, then the traffic police officer snatched the mobile phone and keys to the van and forced the driver, Shahbaz Masih, to pay one thousand Rupees ($11 US) fine. Shahbaz debated with the officer because he had all the required papers and did not violate any traffic rules. Upon hearing this, the officer became furious and started slapping him and calling names."
Sultan went on to say, "The passengers (all Christian women) requested the driver to pay one thousand rupees to the officer and told him that they will pay him back later. The driver paid the amount and asked the officer to return his mobile phone and the keys of the van. The officer refused to return the mobile and the van keys. The passengers protested against the officer's attitude as they were getting late. The women started a sit-in and chanted slogans against the traffic police. The traffic officer called the police who badly tortured the Christian women and driver.