When people buy goods on credit, if they cannot make good on their promises to pay then usually somebody comes to repossess the goods.
A similar situation happened in Pakistan with a Christian man who purchased electronics and could not pay his debt to a Muslim shopkeeper. However, instead of merely repossessing the goods, the shopkeeper sent men who beat the man with sticks, locked him in his home and then set set his house on fire, burning him alive:
A Pakistani Christian father of three was burned to death last week because he was unable to pay his debt to local shop owners in the town of Sialkot in the Punjab province, according to a United Kingdom-based charity.
The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement reports that an eyewitness has said that 45-year-old Ameen Masih was locked inside his home last Tuesday and burned alive by local shop owners and their accomplices.
The motive for the attack, according to the charity, was that Masih had not paid the instalments he owed for the goods he purchased from Afzal Electronics and Shehran Electronics.
Masih allegedly owed 350,000 Pakistani rupees for the purchase of electronic appliances, which is the equivalent to about $5,400.
According to a press release, Masih, who was a hosiery worker who made little money, was unable to pay his debt, which was about 18,000 rupees, or $278, per month.
The witness, Khalid Yousaf, explained that men by the name of Muhammad Usman, Asim Ali, Yasir Bajwa and Shehran went to Masih’s house last Monday and beat him with bats and sticks and also threatened to kill him if he did not pay the remainder of his debt.
“The whole day his family was unable to trace him, but later that night the shopkeepers returned, trapped him in his home, set the room on fire and locked it,” the CLAAS press release explains. “They stayed outside the room and did not allow any of the family members or local residents to unlock the room to save Ameen’s life.”
“Later, his family dialed the police helpline while the perpetrators managed to escape with the keys to the burning room,” the release, which includes a photo of the burned bedroom, continued. “The residents and relatives eventually broke through the wall of the room engulfed with heavy smoke and found Ameen dead.”
Masih’s body was transferred by police to the local hospital for an autopsy. Later that day, a funeral was held and Masih’s body was buried.
The police have arrested Ali and Bajwa is out on pre-arrest bail. Meanwhile, Usman and Shehran have not yet been detained. However, a local police officer has said that Shehran’s family has vowed to turn him into the police in the coming days.
“CLAAS’s team saw the actual room where Ameen was killed. The team visited the Uggoki Police Station and met the Investigation Officer Mr. Razzak, who was cooperating with the family,” according to the press release. “The team obtained a copy of the FIR report from the police station.”
CLAAS has offered legal assistance to Masih’s widow, Rakhil Bibi, who now has to raise three children on her own on just a factory worker’s salary.
“Rakhil Bibi was in a great shock at the tragic loss of her husband and said it would be difficult for her to manage the house and education of her three children,” the report added. “The children were traumatised at the loss of their father. She said that her children were shocked after witnessing the brutal death of their father.” (source)