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Muslim youth allegedly implicates ‘innocent’ Christian ‘friend’ in murder case

Killing is said to have been sparked by ‘jealousy’

By Jawad Mazhar

07/18/2010 Pakistan (ANS)-A Muslim youth, who allegedly shot dead his Muslim friend over jealousy of their friendship with a young lady, is said to have then devised a plan to blame a well-to-do innocent Christian youth in the murder case.

The killing was alleged to have taken place last month at a village in the district of Shiekhupura, located in Punjab Province , Pakistan .

ANS has discovered that the Muslim youth had been close friends since childhood with another Muslim youth — the victim — and also the Christian young man.

A source told ANS that both of the two Muslims had fallen in love with the same girl in their village and quite often quarreled and threatened each other with dire consequences.

At about midnight on June 18th, the one Muslim youth was reported to have visited the home of the Christian young man and asked him to come with him for an “urgent piece of work.”

He agreed to go with him, and when the pair arrived and knocked on the door of the other Muslim, the first Muslim allegedly opened fire on his “rival” and killed him on the spot with a pistol which he had concealed in his clothing.

Sources told ANS that the Christian youth was so “scared about what had occurred “that he immediately left for Faisalabad under cover of darkness, while the alleged killer slept in his own house for the rest of the night where he allegedly planned to implicate his Christian friend.

The next morning, a cousin of the deceased made an announcement in mosques in local villages claiming that the Christian youth had “shot dead” his cousin and also stated that he had witnessed the shooting.

A case of murder and the illegal possession of a weapon against the Christian, was then lodged at the local police station, and he has since been arrested and charged with what his friends believe are “false charges.”

Azhar Kaleem, General Secretary of the Pakistan Christian Lawyers Foundation (CLF) told ANS that local Muslim villagers were jealous of the Christians’ family because they had done so well with their cultivation of their land.

What added to the problem was the fact that the Christian had left the scene, and this had added to the suspicion of the police.

After investigating the situation, ANS has discovered that local Muslims then went on a “rampage” against the Christian youth’s family and other relatives and had “demolished eight houses in the community.”

The father of the accused Christian told ANS that he knew that his son was “innocent” and had filed an application for the charges to be dropped in the office of Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP), but he also admitted that he was “derelict” in his action, and should have also “registered” a case against the alleged killer.

Talking to ANS, Khalid Gill, the provincial organizer of the Christian Liberation Front (CLF) and president of The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) in Punjab province, sternly condemned what he called “this sad episode” and case built against a Christian family, which he said was made “merely on the basis of jealousy.”