Gojra admin knew about pre-planned attacks: HRCP

Press Release, 4 August 2009

Lahore: Last week’s attacks targeting the Christian community in Gojra were not a spontaneous reaction to allegations of blasphemy but were planned in advance, a fact-finding mission of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has found.

The mission’s report, released on Tuesday, said announcements made from mosques in Gojra on July 31 urged the Muslims to gather and “make mincemeat of the Christians”. Witnesses told HRCP that when they informed the police about the announcements, the police officials had also confirmed hearing the announcements.

On the following day, August 1, around 1,000 people gathered in the town and marched towards Christian Colony. A police contingent present in the neighbourhood did not try to stop the mob, which included a number of masked men.

Witnesses said the attackers went about destroying Christians’ houses in a very professional manner, and seemed to be trained for carrying out such activities. They had brought along petrol and other inflammable substances and torched over 40 houses of Christian families in less than half an hour. Many of these houses were looted before being torched. Muslims’ houses adjacent to the Christians’ houses were spared.

Witnesses said a number of attackers were from the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and other militant organisations. The Regional Police Officer (RPO) told HRCP that many of the attackers had come from outside the district, possibly from Jhang.

Amid the brutal killings and destruction in Gojra, the Commission also noted that some Muslims in the neighbourhood provided shelter to Christian women fleeing the violence.

The barbaric attacks are an embarrassment for any society or people who call themselves civilised.

HRCP believes that the local administration’s inaction ahead of the riots was intriguing.

HRCP said the tragic incidents of Gojra are a comprehensive failure by the government to protect minorities either through administrative measures or legislative ones. The culprits, including the local administration, must be brought to justice in an expeditious and transparent manner, HRCP said.

The government must act to prevent any attacked based on a person’s faith, instead of belatedly reacting through award of compensation. It must also ensure that its vows of ensuring interfaith harmony move beyond rhetoric, the HRCP report concluded.

Asma Jahangir
Chairperson

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3 thoughts on “Gojra admin knew about pre-planned attacks: HRCP

  1. Pingback: Simply repealing 295-C will not stop the rot « Journeys to democracy

  2. Mullahs now going after Ahmadis. Seems its open season on Blasphemy charges.

    Police sacrilege Ahmadiyya Mosque and houses in Lathianwala

    Faisalabad, Pakistan; Aug 10, 2009: Couple of days ago a case under anti-Ahmadiyya clauses (PPC 298) was registered by some activists of Sunni Tehreek against 32 Ahmadis accusing them of inscribing Holy scriptures at their houses and place of worship which allegedly hurt the feelings of complainants in village Lathianwala located some 25KM away from Faisalabad at Sheikhupura Road. Police at the behest of some bigots also added Blasphemy clause PPC 295-C (Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet) to the FIR (First Information Report) which carries death penalty. At this outrageous act of Police a three member delegation of Ahmadis approached high ranking police officials to get the Blasphemy charges dropped and settle the matter peacefully without unjustifiably hurting innocent Ahmadis implicated in the case.

    In the morning of August 10, 2009 around 300 strong contingent of Police, gathered from whole district, stormed the Mosque and 28 houses belonging to Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and removed Holy inscriptions, comprising Names of Allah and Kalima (Muslim creed) etc. According to reliable sources the terror and frightful operation continued for 8 hours. Police sacrilege was led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Rai Muhammad Hussain and Station House Officer Mian Muuneer Ahmed of Police Station Khururianwala while the matter was still pending decision with high ranking police official Senior Superintendent of Police Kamran Yousuf. At the time of operation Ahmadiyya delegation was waiting for a meeting with Deputy Inspector General of Police.

    Police used chisels, cement, paint etc to do this dreadful act of shameful sacrilege and removed every Arabic word they could find on Ahmadiyya Mosque and houses. It is worth noting that media was kept at distance thereby not allowing to cover this act. After what happened at Gojra and Mureedke last week; Police is still busy to appease the religious extremists and bigots. Religious minorities feel insecure and helpless in this hostile environment.

    32 innocent Ahmadis still face the charges of anti-Ahmadiyya laws and Blasphemy, arrests and prosecution which may lead to from three years imprisonment to death.

  3. Pingback: Pakistani Christians Under Attack

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