Updated May 26th, 2024 at 21:53 IST

25 Arrested, Over 450 Booked for Terrorism After Mob Attack on Christians in Pakistan

Over 450 people in Pakistan's Punjab province attacked members of the minority Christian community over alleged desecration of the Quran.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Over 2,000 police officers have now been deployed in the area to maintain calm after the riot. | Image:AP/File Photo
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New Delhi: Over 450 people were booked and 25 arrested in Pakistan's Punjab province on Sunday after a mob attacked members of the Christian community over allegations that members of the minority group had desecrated the Quran, PTI reported. It may be recalled that, on Saturday, a mob led by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan activists had attacked members of the Christian community in Punjab province's Sargodha district. Two Christians and 10 policemen were injured in the ensuing violence, with the mob burning and ransacking the properties of the minority group as well. 

As for why, a report by Dawn says that some residents of the Mujahid Colony where the incident took place had reportedly found burnt pages near the house of Nazir Masah, a Christian factory owner who was subsequently accused of desecration. 

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According to the FIR mentioned in the PTI report, over 450 people subsequently attacked Masah's house and shoe factory, with the violence subsequently spreading to other nearby houses and properties. 

The enraged crowd reportedly wanted to lynch the elderly Masah but a police statement claimed that “the police risked their lives to rescue the families and pulled them out of the crowd.”

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More than 10 officers were injured as a result of the intervention, with the mob reportedly pelting the police personnel with stones even as baton charges were used to disperse the crowd. 

Over 2,000 officers have now been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.

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As for those engaged in the riot, Dawn, quoting the FIR, says that the suspects have been booked under Section 324 (attempt to murder), 186 (obstructing public officials in discharging their duty), 353 (assaulting a public official who is discharging their duty), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive material with intent to destroy house), 440 (mischief by fire or explosive material with intent to cause death or hurt) and 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Additionally, sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 have also been invoked in the case. 

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Published May 26th, 2024 at 21:51 IST