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Mar-09-2013 16:56printcomments

PHOTOS: Over 100 Houses Torched in Lahore over a Blasphemy Accusation

Life for All and Masihi Foundation strongly condemn the incident.

Muslims burning Christian houses in Punjab province
Photos courtesy: Xavier Patras William

(LAHORE, Pakistan) - Friday evening, Sawan Masih 26, a resident of Joseph Colony near Badami Bagh, Lahore went to a barber's shop for a haircut, but the shop owner Imran Shahid refused to cut his hair and hot words were exchanged between the two.

The conversation got over heated by the remarks made by Imran Shahid against Masih`s religion, which provoked Masih to utter some words.

Imran Shahid gathered people in the area and reported the incident to the police - saying that Sawan Masih was drunk and had made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, which led to a blasphemy case registered under section 295-C.

The police arrested Masih late Friday night and took him to the police station.

On Saturday morning, a large Mob attacked Joseph Colony and ransacked the Christian settlement.

Over 100 houses were torched and the residents were forced to abandon the houses, around 35 people have been reported injured.

Salamat Masih a resident said, "We were busy in our daily work, we heard a noise burn them alive, and a huge mob rushed in and burnt our properties. They threw acid and threw stones at the houses, the authorities kept silent and didn't intervene until everything was burnt."

The local cleric has announced his intention to kill Sawan if he is seen anywhere.

Life for All and Masihi Foundation strongly condemns the incident, our team is on the ground to help the victims and have called for the authorities to intervene and take action against the culprits.

Punjab has been a hub of religious intolerance, the Punjab government has failed to protect the religious minorities.

The religious intolerance has increased to this extent that the people are willing to kill and burnt people and properties. The religious minorities are not safe in Pakistan, they are targeted for their faith.

We need to play our positive role to promote religious harmony, otherwise we will repeatedly see incident like Shanti Nagar, Gojra and Lahore.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.