Hundreds of angry protesters turned into arsonists, attacking around 160 houses and 80 shops of Christians on Saturday, just a day after allegations of blasphemy were levelled against a man in the Badami Bagh area.
Several policemen, including SSP (Operations) Suhail Sukhera and the Badami Bagh SHO received multiple injuries when the angry mob pelted stones on them during a clash.
The Saint Joseph Colony and its surrounding areas turned into a battlefield when angry protesters started torching the houses and shops.
Upon being informed about the incident, police contingents and rescue teams reached the spot and tried to control the situation.
According to witnesses, the mob broke into the houses, looted them and burnt the remaining belongings in the streets. They said that on Friday, a large number of protesters forced the Christian community members to flee the area, leaving behind their homes and possessions unprotected. They said that the mob had gathered around St Joseph Colony on Noor Road at around 10am, led by a man named Shafiq Ahmed, who was in search of the accused, Sawan, alias Bubby.
They said that the mob first attacked Sawan’s house, setting it on fire and pelting it with stones, and then attacked other houses of the colony.
Badami Bagh SHO Hafiz Abdul Majid told Daily Times that police had controlled the situation after hours of struggle. He said that 12 policemen, including the SSP (operations), had also been injured in the attack. He said that the police had obtained the footage of the incident, and people involved in the incident were being identified.
He assured that stern action would be taken against the arsonists. However, the police had not registered a case until the filing of this report. Witnesses Majid, Iqbal, Afzal and others told Daily Times that tension began when a local Christian, Sawan, was accused of uttering blasphemous remarks three days ago. They said that the accused and complainant Shahid Imran, also a resident of Badami Bagh, were best friend and used to drink together. They said that they had quarrelled under influence of alcohol over some minor issue two days ago. The next day, Shahid Imran accused Sawan of using derogatory remarks for Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) and approached the Badami Bagh police for registration of a case against Sawan, his wife Bilo and daughters Elizabeth, Nusrat and Bushra.
The police had registered a case against Sawan and booked him under Section 295-C.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf showed deep concern over the arson attack in Lahore and issued directions for an expeditious inquiry into the incident. President Zardari also took notice of the incident and called for a report in this regard.
H/T Gateway Pundit