Blasphemy case: Normalcy returns to Ghotki after two days of closure

Tension prevailed after a Hindu man was accused of desecrating the Holy Quran

Our Correspondent July 28, 2016
Tension prevailed after a Hindu man was accused of desecrating the Holy Quran. PHOTO: FILE

SUKKUR: After two days of tension, normalcy was restored in Ghotki district on Thursday as business activities were resumed in all the main bazaars.

Sukkur DIG Feroz Shah visited Ghotki on Thursday and led peace and harmony rallies in Mirpur Mathelo and Daharki, giving a message to the residents that nobody will be allowed to take the law in their hands.

Panic gripped the district after a Hindu man, Amar Lal, was accused of desecrating the Holy Quran in a mosque at Reharki Road near Daharki on Tuesday morning. As a result, hundreds of residents gathered at National Highway and staged a sit-in, demanding that Lal, who was in police custody, be handed over to them. Ugly situations were observed when emotionally charged protesters resorted to violence and the police fired shots in the air and teargas shells to disperse the mob. The protesters also resorted to aerial firing but were eventually dispersed due to heavy teargas.

Blasphemy allegations: Ghotki on edge as mob demands ‘justice’

Later that night, a Hindu teenager was killed and another seriously wounded when armed men opened fire on them in Mirpur Mathelo. Locals said that the fatal attack was part of a backlash against the alleged act of blasphemy committed by Lal. Police claimed, however, the motive behind the attack was personal enmity. Satesh Kumar, 18, and his friend, Avinash, 17, were sitting outside a restaurant near Iqbal Petrol Pump in Mirpur Mathelo Tuesday night when two gunmen, riding a motorcycle, approached them and opened fire. The assailants fled unchallenged.

The attack left the pair seriously injured. They were driven to Civil hospital where Kumar succumbed to his injuries. Avinash was referred to a hospital in Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab for treatment of his critical wounds. Ghotki SSP Masood Bangash claimed the attack was triggered by personal enmity and was not linked to the blasphemy incident.

The teenagers were attacked around an hour after members from Hindu and Muslim communities met to discuss a blasphemy incident that took place earlier in the day and decided to maintain law and order in the area.

Peace rallies

On Thursday, DIG Shah visited Ghotki and led two rallies in Mirpur Mathelo and Daharki. The rallies were attended by the Ghotki SSP and deputy commissioner, activists of different political and religious parties and Hindu residents.

In Mirpur Mathelo, the rally took to the streets from Bhittai Chowk and, amid slogans of peace and harmony, culminated at Ghanta Ghar Chowk. On this occasion, the DIG told the media that law and order will be maintained at any cost and nobody will be allowed to take the law in their hands.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2016.


Malik | 7 years ago | Reply What a shameful state of affairs. Worse than animals.
BOHN | 7 years ago | Reply These are people or animals?
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