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Rawalpindi: Tension arises between Christians, Muslims in New Town neighborhood

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Situation remains tense between Christians and Muslims residing in Rawalpindi’s New Town neighborhood. In this regard, police has been called to take action against Christian residents of the neighborhood however police are trying to settle the dispute between the locals.
The complainants namely Muhammad Sajid, Rashid Akhtar, Afzal Hussain and Muhammad Sadiq have maintained that some Christian residents of the locality including Patras Salamat Masih, James Allah Ditta and others are carrying out church activities which are bothering them.
In an application submitted at the New Town Police Station, the complainants claimed that Patras and James have illegally formed a church in house right in front of theirs. “They perform their religious ceremonies three days a week (Sunday, Tuesday and Saturday).” The complainants claim that during the church services Christian youngsters are stationed on the street; who block the passage of lay people on the street.

Moreover, the complainants said that whenever a Christian dies, these congregants use the street for observing funeral ceremonies. They said that religious practices of these Christians have caused much nuisance to them. Furthermore, the complainants have stated that when they tried to approach the church’ administration they hurled death threats at us.

Sajid, Rashid, Afzal and Sadiq also claim that Patras and James were allegedly trying to pressurize them to sell their houses and leave the street. “We also informed the Union Council Chairman, Abid Hussain Abbasi,” they maintained in the compliant. They maintained that the Union Council Chairman had also advised them to sell their properties to the Christians and leave the street.

On the other hand, the Christians claim that on August 8, 2017, Sajid, Rashid, Afzal and Sadiq long with others arrived at the church when a prayer service was going on. Christians allege that the said people arrived with intent to attack the congregants and therefore the police was informed about the situation.

SHO from New Town Police Station arrived at the scene and was able to diffuse the situation. The complainants claim that the SHO took sides with the Christians. Sajid, Rashid, Afzal and Sadiq have urged the DSP Police to take note of the state of affairs as situation remains tense.

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