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Violence in Pakistan: Mob tortures man, goes on rampage over alleged desecration of Quran in Sargodha

Officials said that the vandalism was carried out by unidentified individuals after the discovery of burnt pages of the Quran which triggered the violent reaction.

On the morning of 25th May, a vengeful crowd in the Mujahid Colony area of Sargodha in Pakistan attacked and vandalized a man’s house in retaliation for an alleged blasphemy incident. Angry individuals broke into the man’s home, trashed his possessions and set fire to the shoe factory that was located there. Furthermore, they destroyed nearby electrical installations and set fire to tyres. However, the situation began to calm down after the Regional Police Officer (RPO), Sargodha District Police Officer (DPO) and a significant police contingent arrived at the scene. Two families from the Christian community were also rescued from the rabid throng by the authorities.

The police transported the injured victim and other wounded persons to a hospital in an ambulance before apprehending multiple culprits. The extremists also used stones to attack the police party, according to RPO Shariq Kamal, but they were eventually driven out. He declared that those who disrupted law and order would face harsh consequences and that the incident was under investigation. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) voiced concerns about the situation in Sargodha and urged the district government and Punjab Police to quickly restore order and prosecute those responsible.

Officials said that the vandalism was carried out by unidentified individuals after the discovery of burnt pages of the Quran which triggered the violent reaction. Asad Ejaz Malhi, the Sargodha DPO also confirmed that the disturbance was caused by suspected desecration of the Quran, but he insisted that a sizable police presence was present and no casualties were reported. “When police arrived, the mob had gathered outside the houses. Officers cordoned off the area and safely evacuated all residents. The police peacefully dispersed the crowd,” he stated and added, “Additional police units were stationed throughout the city to ensure the safety of the Christian community.”

Unconfirmed social media footage showed many people including youngsters destroying furniture while a crowd surrounded a man who was covered in blood. A large fire outside a house was captured on another video. However, Malhi alleged that no one was hurt and dismissed them as “fake videos” and he argued, “The police are maintaining law and order.” His claim was refuted by a family member of a wounded person who revealed that his uncle was in severe condition at a local hospital.

Malhi stated that the suspect was in jail and an investigation was ongoing, but he was unable to verify whether the claimed desecration had actually taken place. A resident of Sargodha named Mohsin Malhi reported that the suspect set fire to two of his homes and a factory. A district peace committee made up of representatives from the Muslim and minority communities as well as religious scholars would assess the situation and make a statement, according to Malhi. A declaration from the Christian community is also anticipated.

The instance brought up memories of a similar attack that happened in Jaranwala in August of last year when Islamists torched numerous homes and churches as they rampaged through a neighbourhood that was predominately Christian over blasphemy charges.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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