Following the turbulent events in Jaranwala, the police have started legal action against 34 people and named 600 additional suspects under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and 18 sections of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to recent reports, 29 of these suspects connected to the violence on Wednesday have been detained.
According to eyewitness accounts, a hysterical mob targeted and destroyed numerous churches and set countless homes on fire. The mob was reportedly enraged by announcements from nearby mosques. Paramilitary personnel had to intervene to restore order due to the violence, which was mostly directed against the Christian population as a result of blasphemy claims.
Significantly, the case has attracted the wrath of locals due to the involvement of well-known individuals including Mufti Mohammad Younis Rizvi, President of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat in Jaranwala, and Syed Asifullah Shah, a leader of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan.
Security forces set up a significant presence, closing off key locations in Jaranwala and stepping up protection at the impacted holy sites. The majority of the town’s businesses decided to stay closed, and law enforcement officers were out in force patrolling the streets, which clearly had an influence on commercial activity.
The horrifying incident, according to the Punjab administration, was the result of a planned conspiracy that had its roots in two Christian brothers who had reportedly desecrated the Holy Quran. The failure of the police to intervene promptly to stop the mob’s destruction has been brought to light.
Must Watch: Real story of Jaranwala incident
In the meantime, Chief Minister of Punjab Mohsin Naqvi applauded the efforts of senior administrative officers and announced the arrest of the guilty brothers. Naqvi convened a conference with religious leaders from all backgrounds in an effort to foster unity and voice his profound concerns regarding the occurrence.
The Council of Islamic Ideology’s Chairman, Dr. Qibla Ayaz, sharply denounced the violent incidents, emphasizing how they directly go against Islamic teachings that stress respect for all sacred places and symbols.
Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office, reaffirmed Pakistan’s dedication to defending the rights of religious minorities, condemned the violent acts, and promised speedy action against those responsible.
In addition, sources indicate that during the turmoil, numerous Bibles and 21 churches may have been torched. Muslim and Christian national religious leaders condemned this crime and demanded swift justice. A “Condemnation Day” has been scheduled for August 18 as a display of unity, and a significant delegation of religious leaders is scheduled to visit Jaranwala shortly after that.
Other responses included condemnation of the violent occurrences and a call for a speedy investigation from the Pakistan Peoples Party Human Rights Cell. Mufti Muneebur Rehman, a former leader of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, also intervened and demanded an impartial and thorough investigation into the incidents.