Over 600 booked as high-level probe underway into Jaranwala incident

As per the First Information Report (FIR), a multitude of 500-600 individuals, led by a specific group, perpetrated an assault on the Christian community. This involved invading homes, looting properties, setting fire to residences and the church edifice.

The FIR cited provisions 7(1)(d), 7(1)(j), 7(1)(g), and 7(1)(h) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

Additionally, it referenced clauses 148, 149, 153A, 186, 295, 295A, 324, 353, 427, 436, and 452 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The FIR also encompassed sections 5 and 6 of the Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) Act 2015.

Concurrently, the government of Punjab initiated the establishment of a high-level investigative committee to look into the incident, aligned with instructions from Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq.

According to a statement from Punjab police, they have apprehended more than 100 suspects, with the involvement of Rangers in the operation as well.

Given the circumstances, the local administration has enforced Section 144 for a span of seven days, forbidding all forms of gatherings, barring those officially arranged by the government.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has acknowledged the occurrences that transpired in the city of Jaranwala, located within Punjab’s Faisalabad district.

While condemning the Jaranwala incidents, former PM and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif wrote on X, “What is happening in Jaranwala is sad and disturbing. There is no place for violence in any religion. All religious places, Holy Books and personages are sacred and deserve our highest level of respect.”

“I urge the government to take action against the culprits. I also appeal to Ulema, Mashaykh and religious scholars from all schools of thought to come forward and condemn the reprehensible actions. Such madness can’t be allowed. Pakistan belongs to all religious minorities,” he added.