LAHORE – Traumatised by mobsters, the Josef Colony residents have expressed dissatisfaction over security and rehabilitation initiatives announced by the provincial government.
Javed, also a local leader of the Christian community, said that the residents of the area were in a state of shock after the sudden attack.
Though the Punjab government set up camps for the victim and arranged food supply to them, the victims continued staging protest demonstrations around the disaster site, pressing the government to provide them security and compensation for the damage.
The protestors said that the district administration, despite the orders of the provincial government, was yet to provide them basic facilities. Dozens of members of victim families of Badami Bagh incident were continued protesting around site till evening which was lead by Bishops, elected representatives, local political leaders and other representatives of the community.
The protestors, carrying placards and banners were chanting slogans against the provincial government and blasphemy laws implemented in the country. The participants of the protest were also demanding government to take proper measures for the protection of the minorities, living in the country especially the Christian community by amending the laws.
“It although is a terrorist act and may be an attempt to create unrest and shatter the peace in the country by some miscreants and Christian leaders still believe that such criminal assault apparently done by locals was part of terrorist activity on behalf of some anti-Pakistan elements”, he said. Younas Masih, one of the affectees, narrating his story said that it was a sudden but horrible t attack and he hardly saved the members of his family by vacating his house timely. The miscreants also robbed a number of burning shops and houses as well and looted cash, jewelry and other goods during riot.
“Fear still can be seen in the eyes of the harassed children and women of the Joseph Colony who were living with their relatives in other Christian colonies in the city and were afraid of coming back. Siraj Din an eye-witness and resident of Badami Bagh said that the attack on Joseph Colony refreshed the memory of the Indo-Pak partition according to some old aged persons. He said that groups of miscreants, armed with guns, fire arms, wooden clubs and fuel attacked the locality and started breaking doors and windows of the houses and shops with clubs while the members of Christian community including women and children were running for their lives.
“Women and children also were shouting and crying helplessly over watching their burnt properties and the entire area was presenting picture of battle field for hours,” he said adding that the police force was a silent audience instead of interfering in the matter. “Suddenly, some persons among assaulters started blazed the shops and homes of the Christians and destroyed the property of them, as the assaulters were also chanting slogans with using abusive language against the Christian community during their destruction.