LAHORE: In the hunt for an alleged blasphemer, hundreds of enraged Muslims charged a Christians’ locality forcing the inhabitants to flee for their lives in the Badami Bagh police area here Friday.
About two to three thousand people, according to police, gathered around the Joseph Colony at Noor Road following Shafiq Ahmed who was searching for an accused Christian, Savan alias Bubby, to kill him. The mob attacked the house of Savan, burnt it partially, pelting bricks at other houses where about 150 Christian families were residing.
Though the mob could not find Savan, some protesters found out his father Chaman Masih, 65, and thrashed him black and blue. As the charged mob started throwing bricks and some of them even tried to burn the entire locality, the inhabitants of the houses including women and children managed to flee to safety. The attackers also damaged vehicle of a Christian pastor who reached there to learn facts. He was successful in running away.
This episode started at 1pm and ended in the evening. By the time, a large number of police personnel reached the spot and averted more damage. The police managed to pacify the mob by registering FIR 112/13 under section 295-C of PPC (death sentence) against Savan by ensuring them that the accused would be handed over to the mob.
The police contingents were present on the spot till the filing of this report. The police also took Chaman Masih into custody. Shahid Imran, complainant in the FIR, alleged that Savan used to utter blasphemous remarks against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) but he ignored. He said that on Thursday he again uttered blasphemous remarks. He said that in the evening he shared it with his friend, Shafiq, who picked up a knife and went straight to Savan’s house. Reaching there, Shafiq hurled abuses by shouting and telling Savan to come out. The complainant said Savan’s family members told Shafiq that they were also against Savan and would hand him over to him whenever they found him. Reassured, Shafiq returned.
Shahid said that at 12pm Friday, Shafiq gathered some other boys and reached Savan’s house. Meanwhile, Muslims of the adjoining localities also reached there to join him against the accused. Shahid said the situation went out of control when people reached the spot after offering prayer in behind Qari Saifullah. He said that by that time, countless people had reached the area. He said that as they started pelting bricks and tried to burn the houses while shouting slogans, the scared Christians left their houses and fled. Within no time all houses were abandoned, he added.