Christians fleeing in fear from Karachi after violence following inter-religion marriage

Karachi, Nov 27: Several Christian families at Saeedabad in Karachi have fled their homes while many others have sent their women to safer grounds, following threats issued by the activists of a political party after a Muslim girl eloped with a Christian boy last week.

The couple fled to Faisalabad, where the 20-year-old Christian boy converted to Islam and married the 18-year-old Muslim girl, The News reported.

Following the incident, the girl's family, who hails from Hazara, and activists of a political party have threatened the Christian community of dire consequences if the girl does not return home.

They also stoned the locality's church, forced a local school to shut down, and also forced the people to migrate from the area.

Requesting anonymity, a Christian resident told the paper that although a week had passed since the incident took place, a tense atmosphere still prevails in the area.

"I have sent my three children to my relatives' place since the activists threatened us that they would start kidnapping our girls. Becoming terrified, many people locked their homes and ran away, while others have caged themselves up in their houses. Also, the boy's family has also fled and the situation has aggrieved. Now, the Christian community is paying the price for the boy's crime," the resident said.

William Sattar, a social activist working in the area, revealed that police, along with the girl's family, were picking up boys from the area and beating them up. "We are very worried as armed men are roaming in the area. They have already attacked our church and we are scared that they might start attacking our houses," he added.

He requested the higher-ups to provide them security and ensure that no untoward incident takes place.

Meanwhile, SHO Saeedabad Police Station Nasir Sami said that the police were doing all they could to control the law and order situation in the area.

"The boy has sent his free-will conversion and marriage certificate to police officials and calm and peace is returning to the area. The school was threatened to close down but it will resume its activities as police has been deployed in the area," the official added.

Copyright Asian News International/