FIR registered against 400 suspects in connection with Sargodha violence


LAHORE:

Following a surge of unrest linked to blasphemous acts and the resulting chaos on Saturday, Sargodha authorities confirmed the initiation of two separate First Information Reports (FIRs) on Sunday.

A Christian individual and his relatives were rescued in Sargodha’s Mujahid Colony by police on Saturday after being saved from an irate group accusing him of blasphemy and administering a brutal beating.

According to police reports, community members were incensed and started violent demonstrations, burning tires upon hearing allegations of the sacrilegious event.

The irate demonstrators laid siege to the Christian man’s abode and torched his shoe-manufacturing business. They also inflicted grievous harm upon him, leaving him in a critical state.

The primary FIR launched today accuses a person of dishonoring Holy Qur’an excerpts. The complaint alleges that the accused defiled the sacred text by placing it atop an electrical device in Mujahid Colony, which was seen by multiple witnesses.

The FIR claims that this action gravely offended Muslim sensitivities and led to strife. Subsequently, charges under sections of the Pakistan Penal Code addressing blasphemy and religious outrage, as well as terrorism-related charges, were applied.

Further reading: Police Prevent Possible Major Tragedy in Jaranwala

The second FIR concerns the mob’s lawless reaction. Over 400 people are charged with serious criminal activities such as terrorism, attempted homicide, property destruction, rioting, and usage of explosive substances.

This report details that aggressors amassed with the intent to penetrate the victim’s residence, ascended adjacent rooftops to gain entry, and ignited a footwear production facility. The document also mentions that the crowd hampered police efforts to secure the victim, resulting in additional injuries.

At this point, police have detained more than 28 suspects linked to the turbulent episode.

Punjab’s Minority Affairs Minister, Ramesh Singh Arora, has assured strict legal action against those implicated in the Sargodha blasphemy case.

On Sunday, in light of the recent mayhem, the minister engaged with Punjab’s Home Secretary, prompting a strategic security strengthening throughout Sargodha, including protective measures at local churches, led by DPO Dr. Asad Ijaz Malhi who deployed an excess of 1,000 security forces.

Arora asserted, “The perpetrators will face legal consequences,” while urging the community to preserve harmony and support the security personnel in their operations.

He called for mutual respect among all religions and the need for peaceful coexistence, condemning any acts of religious dishonor. Arora emphasized everyone’s role in fostering a tranquil environment.

The minister beseeched the public to allow the authorities to function without interference and rest assured that the matter is undergoing thorough scrutiny.

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