LAHORE – In a renewed attack on minorities, a violent Muslim mob attacked a Christian locality in Gujranwala on Wednesday, damaging shops, houses and vehicles belonging to the local Christians following a clash between the youths of the two communities last night, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to initial information, a group of Christian boys was snubbed by a local cleric for playing music on their cell phones while passing by a mosque on Tuesday evening.
“Our boys were passing the mosque when the prayer leader objected to their playing music on cell phones. The boys turned off the music at that moment but switched it on again after covering some distance. The cleric raised a clamour and accused the boys of showing disrespect to Islam. As word spread of the incident, we immediately went to the police post in our colony and shared our security concerns with them. The police told us not to worry and assured us that they would contain the situation but no measures were taken,” Pervaiz, a resident of Francis Colony in Gujranwala, told Pakistan Today.
He said that around 2pm, a Muslim mob from the nearby Naroki village attacked the neighbourhood, ransacking shops, houses and around 5-7 vehicles parked on the road. “We saw a police mobile of the area’s checkpost parked in the vicinity but they did not intervene and let the mob damage our property,” he said, adding that the mob dispersed after local Christians took out their weapons and started firing in the air to deter them.
Pakistan Today made repeated attempts to contact the police officials concerned, including Regional Police Officer Amin Waince but they did not receive the calls.
After playing the role of a silent spectator, the police took action and resorted to aerial firing and hurling stones indiscriminately at the mob to disperse it. The mob also pelted stones back at the police.