A Christian man was reportedly assaulted and burnt with hot iron rods, allegedly by the family of a Muslim woman in Sheikhupura district, for having "friendship" with her, it has been learnt.

The victim had received severe burn wounds and after failing to get proper medical care in Sheikhupura, he was shifted to Mayo Hospital, Lahore, on Sunday for further medical treatment.

The incident happened earlier this month and a police case has also been lodged against the father and brothers of the woman, who were reportedly against the friendship between the two and allegedly tortured 21-year-old Ansar Masih.

According to the First Information Report (FIR) undersigned by Masih's sister in Sheikhupura's Saddar police station, Masih first established contact with the woman two years ago and their friendship grew with time.

They often spoke on phone and Masih would also visit the woman neighbourhood to meet her, the FIR stated.

When the woman's family learned of the friendship, her father, Manzoor, and her brothers called Masih's father asking him to tell his son to stay away from the woman, warning them of dire consequences if their instructions were not followed, the FIR added.

On April 1, Ansar's mother sent him to run an errand in the woman's neighbourhood where Ansar was allegedly kidnapped by the accused and his two sons, the report stated, adding the three unclothed him, beat him and burned him using hot iron rods.

The FIR further states that the accused then brought Ansar to his house and told his family that he had been in a traffic accident.

Ansar's family then rushed him to Sheikhupura's District Headquarters Hospital where, after gaining consciousness, he narrated the incident.

Subsequently, on April 5, his sister lodged the FIR following which the police took the accused into custody.

Speaking to DawnNews, the victim's father claimed that the family was under pressure by the accused as well as the area police to reconcile and take back the case.

When contacted, the officials at DHQ confirmed that Ansar had been shifted to Lahore's Mayo Hospital as the facility in Sheikhupura lacked equipment and necessary supplies to treat patients with serious burn injuries.

Ansar's condition is reportedly stable now. However, his medical treatment is underway.

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