Sectarian violence: More than 600 named in Ishq-i-Rasool Day clashes

Published: September 23, 2012
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A policeman tries to grab a protester during riots on Friday. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS TRIBUNE

A policeman tries to grab a protester during riots on Friday. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS TRIBUNE

FAISALABAD: 

Jaranwala City police have registered two cases identifying 11 men and accusing 600 others for clashes that left 47 people injured on Ishq-i-Rasool Day on Friday.

The attempted murder and incitement FIR stated that 47 people, including six policemen, were injured in firing and stone pelting between two groups in Jaranwala Main Bazaar. Rana Muhammad Asghar, the Jaranwala station house officer, said clashes erupted between some activists of the two groups in front of the Jamia Masjid.

He said a police team he was heading was attacked with bricks, injuring him and six other policemen. He said the police had to fire teargas shells to break the protest.

The FIR mentions sections 324 (attempted murder), 153 (promoting hatred), 186 (obstructing a public servant from discharge of duties) and 148 and 149 (rioting) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Another complaint filed by Chaudhry Ghulam Nabi Anjum, general secretary of the Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, a component organisation of the Sunni Ittehad Council, accuses more than 250 people, identifying 15 members of the banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan, of attacking a rally he was leading to mark the Ishq-i-Rasool Day.

The FIR has been registered under Sections 324 (attempted murder), 337 H-2 (hurt by rash or negligent act), 148 and 149 (rioting) of the PPC and Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance.

The complaint said the rally was pelted with bricks and stones by people on roofs of buildings in the vicinity of Jamia Masjid. It said the rally had started from Sabri Masjid, located some 500 yards from the Jamia Masjid on the same road.

The 15 men identified in the FIR included SSP Jaranwala chapter president Fida Nafees Inqalabi and general secretary Muhammad Shafiq.

Two of the injured men were stated to be in a critical condition at Jaranwala tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital.

Of the others, 38 were given first aid and discharged on Friday and seven hospitalised for a day.

Muqaddas Shah, one of the injured, said he was passing by the Main Bazaar when clashes erupted between the two groups. He said was hit in the arm by a stray bullet.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2012.

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