Pakistan police report 500 for mob violence against Christian man

Pakistan police report 500 for mob violence against Christian man

Police in Sargodha, Pakistan filed a first information report against 500 people on Sunday for allegedly engaging in mob violence against a Christian man accused of desecrating the Quran a day before in Sargodha’s Mujahid Colony, according to local news outlet Pakistan Today.

The report against the 500 people invoked sections 7 and 11WW of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. Section 7 punishes acts of terrorism and section 11WW punishes people who publish or disseminate material to incite hatred to those convicted for engaging in terrorism. The report also invoked sections 324, 186, 353, 436, 440 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code. Section 324 criminalizes acts of qatl-i-amd, where premeditated acts lead to the death of another person. Sections 186 and 353 criminalize obstructing public servants from performing public functions. Section 436 and 440 criminalize mischief by fire and preparing to cause death or injuries, respectively. Section 149 criminalizes members of unlawful assemblies for pursuing unlawful common objects.

According to the first information report, locals congregated outside the Christian man’s house with weapons, such as stones, and attempted to forcibly enter his home from adjoining roofs. The locals then set his house on fire by setting a shoe factory close by and electricity supplies ablaze. While the police extricated the Christian man from his house, he was severely injured. Two other Christian families were also attacked by the mob.

District Police Officer Assad Malhi stated that the police have stationed additional police units in Sargodha to protect Christians. In addition, the Punjab police wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that the police have employed tightened security measures at Christian churches.

This is not the first mob attack on the Christian community in Pakistan. Human Rights Watch previously stated on August 22, 2023 that Pakistani authorities must protect religious minorities from violence and prosecute individuals who threaten and inflict violence on them. Then-Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that “Stern action would be taken against those who violate law and target minorities. All law enforcement has been asked to apprehend culprits and bring them to justice.”

Source: Jurist


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