By Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan
GUJRANWALA, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- A Christian sanitation worker was struggling for his life Tuesday, December 15, in a hospital of Pakistan's Punjab province after two Christian co-workers already died because Muslim employers apparently poisoned them, police and family confirmed.
The father of the three workers, Yousaf Masih, said the incident happened Monday, December 14, in a banquet and wedding hall where his sons demanded wages owed to them.
Masih said the Muslim managers of the facility were angry that Christians dared to ask for payment. "My sons were apparently forced to consume some kind of poisoned drink, or a drug...They were left there to die," he said, adding that their bosses also made abusive remarks about Christianity.
Imran Masih, 29, and Irfan Masih, 25, died on the spot at the 'Ferozewala Pul Banquet & Marriage Hall' while their brother 23-year-old Aakash Masih was eventually rushed to hospital by family members, Masih said. "The administration of the banquet and wedding hall did not call a hospital or take them to a hospital –instead they called us after the death of two of our loved ones."
Aakash Masih was reportedly still in "critical condition" at the Intensive Care Unit of Civil Hospital Gujranwala in Punjab Province. The human remains of the two other brothers were taken for autopsy to the hospital, Masih said, as part of an apparent police investigation.
Police officials said they were still searching for the main suspects who they identified as Imtiyas Warriach, owner of the Ferozewala Pul Banquet & Marriage Hall, and hall manager Abid Virk. Both officials will be charged with "murder and deception, police said.
There have been several attacks against Christian sanitation workers across Pakistan a predominantly Muslim nation. Minority Christians, who complain off discrimination, often work in difficult circumstances, according to church groups and rights organizations.