Blasphemy Charges: Huge Mob Attacks Christian Community in Pakistan

New Delhi: On random Blasphemy Charges, the minority Christian community in Pakistan was attacked and houses burnt. Over 450 individuals have been charged, and 25 were arrested in the incident for attacking members of the Christian minority and police officers in the Sargodha district, approximately 200 kilometres from Lahore. 

As per reports, led by radical Islamist Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) activists, an angry mob on Saturday accused Nazir Masih, an elderly Christian, of desecrating the muslim religious book quran. The mob surrounded Masih’s residence and shoe factory, setting fire to the factory, nearby shops, and houses, while also brutally torching Masih himself. Timely intervention by a large police contingent saved the lives of Masih and 10 other members of the Christian community.

According to the FIR, the mad mob pelted stones at police personnel when they tried to disperse the crowd using baton charges. This incident led to injuries for at least 10 policemen, including officers.

Nazir Masih has been immediately shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Sargodha for treatment. The police have stated that legal action will be taken against him if he is found guilty of desecrating the religious book.

Masih claimed that certain individuals in the locality falsely accused him of desecrating the holy book. During the mob attack, Christian families managed to protect themselves by locking themselves inside their homes. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed grave concern over the situation, highlighting that the Christian community in Gillwala village is at severe risk due to the agitated mobs.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in the Muslim nation of Pakistan, where a mere accusation can incite mob violence. Human rights organizations argue that Pakistan’s stringent blasphemy laws are frequently exploited to settle personal disputes. While blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan, the state has not carried out any executions for it. However, there have been numerous instances where those accused have been lynched by angry mobs.

This incident follows a similar attack last year in Jaranwala tehsil, Faisalabad district. In that incident, a mob incensed over reports of two Christians allegedly desecrating the Quran, set fire to at least 24 churches and over 80 houses belonging to Christians.

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