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Bishop accused of demolishing graveyard, schools

September 11, 2012

PESHAWAR, Sept 10: The Christian Welfare Society (CWS) has expressed concern over demolishing of Christian graveyard and educational institutions in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to use the land for commercial purposes.

CWS provincial chairman Javed Payara told a press conference here on Monday that they would launch a protest and stage a hunger strike camp outside Supreme Court of Pakistan if government failed to take practical steps to save the properties of Christian community.

Flanked by Jimmy Mitho and Basharat Khokar, he alleged that Humphrey Sarfaraz Peter was an illegal bishop because the apex court had already given a stay order and all his activities as bishop were illegal.

Mr Payara said that the so-called bishops rather contractors had started demolishing Christian graveyards and educational institutions to construct shopping plazas on the land.

He said that in Dera Ismail Khan the Christian graveyard was demolished and the land was divided into plots. They also sold the trees of Mission Compound, he alleged.

Mr Payara said that in Bannu a shopping centre and commercial plaza were being constructed by demolishing a mission school. It was planned to construct a plaza at the place of Mission Hospital in Peshawar, he added.

He said that CWS would stage hunger strike camps at different places across the province. He said that a camp would be held on Sept 11 outside Bishop House Peshawar, on Sept 16 in D.I. Khan and on Sept 24 in Mardan.

Mr Payara also appealed to the chief justice of Peshawar High Court to take notice of the alleged demolishment of graveyard and educational institutions of Christians at the hands of so-called bishops.

Meanwhile, another group of the Christian community led by several elders held a protest demonstration outside Peshawar Press Club and blamed Mr Payara for illegally occupying missionary buildings.

They alleged that Mr Payara was a member of land mafia and wanted to deprive the community of historical places and properties.

The Christian leaders including Danial Samule, Mehmood Jan, John, Iqbal Masih and Yousuf T.M Azam said that they would move court against the land grabbers.