Murder_titlePakistan: A Pakistani paramedic has been arrested for killing gay men he befriended online.

Muhammed Ejaz, 28, a father of two was arrested last week and confessed to three brutal murders, saying he wanted to send out a message about the “evils” of same-sex relations. Police insist he had sex with his victims first, reports

The killings have sent shock waves through the underground gay community in Lahore where the murders took place. The community fears Ejaz could be lionized as a hero by conservative Muslims in a country  where same-sex relations is stigmatized and punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Ejaz, who sported a neat trimmed beard and was kept shackled, told AFP that he understands what he did was wrong and that it was tragic for families to have lost relatives “but they were spreading evil in society and I had to stop it.”

Ejaz said he murdered the gay men because he wanted them “to stay away from this evil.”

The killings happened in March and April, according to a police officer who headed the investigation.

The victims were a middle-aged retired army Major and two other men, both in their twenties. All three were found with their necks broken and had been sedated.

After examining their mobile phone call logs, police were able to identify Ejaz’s number and found another former lover whom they used as a trap to lure and arrested him.

Ejaz insisted that he is not gay.

“I started going on Manjam two months ago using my mobile phone, and found that the gays are everywhere in Lahore,” he said, referring to a popular social networking website.

“They are spreading evil and transmitting diseases. They cannot control themselves,” he was reported to have said.

Ejaz said he was the victim of sexual abuse by an older boy when he was around 10 years old and had led a deeply unhappy childhood.

Pakistan’s gay community is highly closeted and in the absence of gay venues rely on the Internet and mobile apps to arrange clandestine dates. They avoid scrutiny by mostly getting married to women.

A member of Pakistan’s gay community said he was worried Ejaz could be hailed as a hero by some conservative Muslims. “The worry is — will it inspire others to do the same?” he said.

Ejaz’s arrest was reported in a sensational episode of program Hum Log at a Pakistani news channel Samaa TV. Throughout that interview, he referred to gay men as “kachra” meaning garbage.

“This incident is a direct result of widespread social ignorance and unaddressed homophobia in our society…I am sure that people would applaud the murderer while appreciating his killings as ‘good deed,’” Hadi Hussain, a gay rights activist told