Fear grips Christian locality in Lahore over alleged blasphemy case

Published: May 25, 2015
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File photo of Christians protesting. PHOTO: AFP

File photo of Christians protesting. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: Fear gripped a Christian locality in Lahore for a second day on Monday, a day after a charged mob of hundreds attempted to attack a church and looted houses over the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran by a member of the locality.

Humayon, the accused, was allegedly seen burning pages of the Holy Quran after which he was handed over to the police.

Following a complaint by Sayed Zeeshanul Haq, police registered an FIR against accused Humayon under section 295-B of Pakistan Penal Code and arrested him.

The complainant, Haq, told The Express Tribune that they spotted Humayon burning pages of Quran. Haq said an owner of a tea stall told him about it and they spotted him and handed him to the police.

Read: Pakistan one of the worst religious freedom offenders: US govt advisory body

“Many people gathered on the spot and some of them even tried to burn him alive, however, we saved him and handed him to the police,” he added.

“Later a charged mob reached the house of the accused and recorded their protest.”

The mob, some armed with deadly weapons, chanted slogans of Allah-o-Akbar also resorted to aerial firing. They looted around 15 houses in the area.

Fearing for their lives, most residents left their houses, a resident of the area Khalid Shehzad told The Express Tribune.

“Humayoun is mentally instable and does not understand the sensitivity of the matters,” Khalid added.

Read: Kot Radha Kishan tragedy: Charges framed against 106 accused of lynching

The resident of the locality further said the charged protesters looted belongings from houses, broke electricity metres and also broke down doors of houses.

“Some were chanting abuses against Christians while firing,” he added.

Although heavy contingents have been deployed in the locality to avoid any untoward incident but most residents have still not returned to their houses fearing a repeat of the Joseph Colony.  In March 2014, a charged crowd set 200 houses ablaze in a Christian locality over alleged blasphemous remarks by a resident of the area.

Read: Joseph Colony case: Police failed in protecting citizens, says SC

On Sunday night, police stopped the mob from torch the church and house of the accused which led to violent clashes between them and the protesters.

As the mob pelted police with stones, two contingents of Punjab Rangers were sent to the area to restore peace. The police also resorted to baton-charge after Lahore DIG Operations Dr Haider Ashraf suffered a head injury in the clashes. Five other police officials were also injured during the clashes.

An FIR in this regard was also registered at Sanda Police. The police has not yet said whether arrests would be made in this regard.

Although the alleged incident took place in the jurisdiction of Gulshan-e-Ravi Police, a charged mob led by local clerics reached the Christian locality in Dhoop Sari area where the house of accused Humayoun alias Faisal is situated.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Common Pakistani
    May 25, 2015 - 1:31PM

    Sad. We should declare non-sunnis as non-humans and just get on with it. Sad.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    May 25, 2015 - 1:31PM

    High time this nonsense ended!Recommend

  • HS
    May 25, 2015 - 2:09PM

    Oh boy, not again.Recommend

  • Ahmed Saleem
    May 25, 2015 - 2:16PM

    No wonder this country is going downhill.
    How can you loot someone’s house in the guise of registering protest?
    These protesters have got nothing to do with Islam infact they are spoiling the name of Islam and so deserve bullets in their head from the police or will keep doing these things again.Recommend

  • UG
    May 25, 2015 - 2:18PM

    Repeal Blasphemy law!!!Recommend

  • pn awasthi
    May 25, 2015 - 2:28PM

    Religious freedom at its best…No change in people’s mindset.Recommend

  • Zubair
    May 25, 2015 - 2:37PM

    This mob justice thing is getting out of hand. The mob used an allegation as an excuse to loot houses. The blasphemy law needs to be repealed.Recommend

  • pk
    May 25, 2015 - 2:41PM

    Why a PIC of Christian protest ET ,when its actually other way aroundRecommend

  • ashoka
    May 25, 2015 - 2:52PM

    true face of pak & giving lectures to otherRecommend

  • Whiskey Khan
    May 25, 2015 - 3:26PM

    This Blasphany Law ia Man made law and not a divine revelation, this nonsense of killing innocents people in the name of Blasphamy should be put to an end.Recommend

  • Jalal
    May 25, 2015 - 4:17PM

    Another fake blasphemy case by Punjabis. These guys really like to persecute everyone.Recommend

  • Arsha
    May 25, 2015 - 9:51PM

    It’s amazing that these miscreants can’t see the absolute contradiction —- they are trying to do all this for a book which is transient … which can be printed and reprinted using the same paper that every other book uses. What no one can destroy is the message of God. However people by such actions destroy the message of God to protect the trivial material paper. Recommend

  • Schabboo Khan
    May 25, 2015 - 11:02PM

    @UG:
    I do not like the Blasphemy law but repealing it is not going to change a thing. I’d bet not even one person in the crazed mob knew about the law. It’s the crazy mullah in the corner mosque who they listen to. As long as the government cedes the right to educate its people to the mullah’s we will continue to see these atrocities.Recommend

  • Parvez
    May 26, 2015 - 12:07AM

    The Hand Book of the Lahore land mafia has clearly had a chapter added, it’s called……..The use of blasphemy in achieving your objective. Recommend

  • May 26, 2015 - 1:25AM

    Is chief minister Shahbaz there? Where is he? Has he absconded on a
    very ‘important mission to China’? Is he leading the mobs from the back?
    Where is the leadership? Burqa Mulla leading his troops ready to go on
    a rampage? To annihilate Christians?Recommend

  • vivek
    May 26, 2015 - 6:38AM

    @Schabboo Khan
    where will you educate people….the other column here talk about the sad state of your formal education system, they are also teaching the same my be in english.Recommend

  • powvow
    May 26, 2015 - 12:55PM

    I have a different take on this incident.. Considering that Pakistan is fighting extremism in the last few months, the Christian community aided by Vatican and evangelists have upped their ante and are decrying this persecution (blasphemy), even when it may not have happened in this case. These are all pressure tactics to put the current dispensation on backfoot and extract mileage out of them.. They have employed similar tactics in India, when they created this uproar over church attacks or false persecution , trying to put the current Govt on defensive (after realizing that this Govt will no do their bidding)…

    Pakistanis need to be aware of these bigots..Recommend

  • Indian Observer
    May 26, 2015 - 1:02PM

    After all the attacks on X’ians , Hindus and other non-sunnis over the last few years, I am sure every X’ian and Hindu in pak knows better than to burn a page and invite trouble to themselves. This is a fake allegation and everybody knows its just a pretext, to loot , kill, maim,rape and bundle non-Sunni’s out of the region.
    Repeal your blasphemy law and Hudood ordinances, and keep the legislature , judiciary and other administration out of the religious circle.Otherwise people in pakistan are just going to suffer more and more by their own countrymen and Mullas.Recommend

  • May 27, 2015 - 3:56PM

    There must be a FULL STOP to somewhere but seems limit is yet to come and its far ahead.Recommend

  • lkhan
    May 27, 2015 - 4:28PM

    God Almighty. Where was the Lahore police?? That a house be ransacked, the people take the law in their hands, when will Pakistan come out of such immensely embarrassing mad senseless ways. The man is mentally handicapped. An FIR against such? Poor poor Christian community, all my sympathies are with you. You come out of one tragedy to be faced by another. Pakistan has a long way to go if it does not change its medieval ways… Tolerance, Empathy, where are you in the hearts of Pakistanis???? Enough against all minorities….Recommend

  • Oct 14, 2015 - 9:27PM

    And your political leaders can’t wait to import hundreds of thousands of proponents of the “religion of peace” to your shores. Hope the bribes were worth it.Recommend

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