Encroachment: Christians protest occupation of graveyard

Demand protection of graves from traffic and drainage.

Muhammad Sadaqat January 16, 2012

ABBOTTABAD: Dozens of Christians staged a protest against the alleged occupation of land earmarked as a graveyard of the minorities.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Priest Michael Fayaz said the government had allocated 12 kanals for a Christian cemetery in village Thanda Maira many years back. He said the area people and district administration had requested them to allow construction of an 11 feet wide road from the middle of the cemetery, “to which we readily agreed and donated the land”.

But after some time, some “influential people” started occupying the land, leaving only five kanals for the cemetery, said Fayaz.

What is even worrying is that the heavy trucks are now being plied on some graves and drainage from the area has been diverted towards the cemetery, due to which many graves have either been damaged or disappeared altogether.

“This is disrespectful and humiliation for the entire Christian community,” said Tanvir Peer Bux, a Christian local. We are also Pakistanis and deserve equal status, said Bux, adding that no religion allows disrespect of the deceased.

The protesters chanted slogans demanding the district administration to free the occupied land from illegal occupants, protecting the graves by constructing a boundary wall and diverting drainage to its previous course.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2012.


Rabia | 11 years ago | Reply All those residing in a locality must be given equal rights if we want to avoid an absolute eradication of tolerance
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