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Mob sets factory on fire in Sarghodha, over dozen detained

By News Desk

May 25, 2024 09:57 PM


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An angry mob subjected a Christian shoe factory owner, Sultan Masih, to extreme torture in Mujahid Colony in Sargodha on Saturday holding him responsible for burning some pages carrying Quranic verses. His factor was also put on fire.

Timely intervention by police teams, under the supervision of senior officers, averted what could lead to an unfortunate situation. According to reports, Sultan Masih fled from the spot and took refuge in his home but mobsters chased him, pelted his house with stones and tortured Naveed, the father of the accused. His condition is said to be critical.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concerns over the incident and demanded police bring to book the culprits.

Taking to X, it said the HRCP is seriously concerned by the unfolding situation in Sargodha where the Christian community in Gillwala village is reportedly at grave risk to their lives at the hands of charged mobs.

 

 

 

Police arrested more than a dozen mobsters and rushed the victims to hospital. According to a media report, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Usman Anwar said that at least 15 suspects were arrested after two Christian families were rescued.

Sargodha District Police Officer (DPO) Asad Ejaz Malhi said that the incident stemmed from alleged desecration, but emphasised that a large police contingent was deployed and no fatalities were reported.

“When police arrived, the mob had gathered outside the houses. Officers cordoned off the area and safely evacuated all residents,” Malhi said, adding that additional police units were stationed throughout the city to ensure the safety of the Christian community.

 “The police peacefully dispersed the crowd,” he added. Social media footage depicted a mob surrounding a bloodied man and others, including teenagers, wrecking furniture. Another video showed a large blaze outside a house. DPO Malhi claimed they were “fake videos”, insisting no one was injured.

“The police are maintaining law and order,” he said. However, a relative of an injured person contradicted this, saying his uncle was in critical condition at a hospital and the family was not being allowed to meet him.

A statement from the Punjab police said Sargodha Regional Police Officer Shariq Kamal, DPO Malhi and other police officials responded promptly as soon as the incident was reported and reached the spot immediately, managing to save 10 lives and controlling the situation.

“There was no loss of life, more than 10 police officers and personnel were also injured due to stone pelting by the angry people. The Sargodha police risked their lives to rescue the families and pulled them out from the crowd. Thanks to the timely action of the police. Sargodha was spared a great tragedy,” the statement said, adding that the situation in the city was “completely peaceful and under control”.

It praised members of the district peace committee and the Christian community for playing an “effective role in restoring the atmosphere of understanding and peace”.

“More than 2,000 officers and men of Sargodha police are on security duty. No one will be allowed to misbehave. Citizens are requested to support the police to deal with miscreants,” the statement quoted DPO Malhi as saying.


News Desk


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