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Friday, April 19, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Christian pastor injured in firing incident in Jaranwala

The injured was moved to hospital for medical treatment
Photo - Reuters
Photo - Reuters

A Christian pastor was injured in a firing incident near Jhal Khanuana Satiana Road in Jaranwala town of Punjab’s Faisalabad district.

The victim, identified as Vicky pastor, was moved to the hospital for medical treatment. The target of the firing and the accused have not been identified.

After conducting a church service this weekend in the eastern town of Jaranwala, Elizar Sandhu, a local priest, was stopped by a man who told him to recite a Muslim religious text, according to the information report filed to police. The man then shot the priest in the arm when the religious leader recited a Christian prayer in response. The priest is being treated in a nearby hospital.

Jaranwala became the centre of local and international media reports when a violent mob of hundreds on August 16, vandalised and torched the worship places of the Christian community and also attacked their houses.

An initial report of property loss stated that at least 19 churches and 86 houses were torched during the rampage.

Read: Jaranwala violence: Two Christians accused of blasphemy arrested

A Christian graveyard was also desecrated, residents and the community leaders said, adding the mob dragged belongings from Christians’ houses setting them on fire in the streets, and took away valuables that they could carry.

A large contingent of armed paramilitary troopers has fanned out to restore calm in Jaranwala after violence roiled the area last month, but tensions have remained high and Christians displaced from their homes have said they are scared of more violence.

More than 120 people were arrested over the hours-long rampage by a mob that residents said consisted of people carrying iron rods, knives and sticks, and which set fire to churches and scores of homes.

Police and residents said the attack started after someone took allegedly desecrated pages of the Quran to a mosque prayer leader, which was followed by announcements calling for punishment.

Police have arrested two Christian men accused of blasphemy and are investigating.

Caretaker prime minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has also visited the area, calling last month’s attack an atrocity and promising Pakistan’s minority religious communities that the government would protect them.

(With input from Reuters)

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