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Muslim Militants Loot Christian Farmer’s Rice Crops

ICC Note

“They finished harvesting and took away the looted rice crop with them, waving fire arms and saying: ‘Christians are born to clean manure, therefore go and clean the cesspits and you (Christian) are not supposed to do cultivation’,”

By Jawad Mazhar

Sunday, 02 December 2007 Pakistan (BosNewsLife) — A Christian rice farmer in Pakistan was without income Sunday, December 2, after armed Muslim militants robbed him of his 7.5 acre of rice crops, the victim and investigators said.

Robby Simon said he had been robbed off “ripened rice crops worth” nearly $7,000, a huge amount in the impoverished region around his village of Tara Tibbi in District Mandi Bhaudin of Pakistan ’s Punjab province.

He said the attack happened November 14 “in broad daylight”, but police has so far refused to arrest any of the suspects. Police officials were not immediately available for comments; however security forces have been criticized by several advocacy groups of not doing enough to prevent attacks against Pakistan ’s Christian minority.

Pakistani advocacy group Rays of Development (ROD) and relatives of Simon told BosNewsLife that militants carrying AK-47 rifles and other weapons forcibly entered in to the farm house of Simon and tied up his workers, identified as Nazir Masih and Muhammad Saleem, with ropes.

Waving Fire Arms

A witness, Yousaf Masih, said the assailants reaped up the crop within 3.5 hours during the day light. “They finished harvesting and took away the looted rice crop with them, waving fire arms and saying: ‘Christians are born to clean manure, therefore go and clean the cesspits and you (Christian) are not supposed to do cultivation’,” he said, his voice trembling.

He added that the Muslim robbers “also blatantly challenged us to do whatever we (Christians) can do against them.”

Masih said that the culprits are the residents of the same village and “very influential and powerful,” and use bribery to avoid justice. Other Christian farmers have reportedly complained about similar incidents.

ROD Chairman Ferhan Mazher told BosNewsLife that his group “condemned this atrocity”, adding that Pakistan is the home of people of diverse religions and cultures. “Therefore no one should think that this is their land and all other people are their slaves or no one should usurp or exploit the rights of other human beings,” he added.