Supreme Court takes up Jaranwala arson, rampage case Friday

The Supreme Court is likely to take up Friday the case involving arson and rampage by a mob in a Christian neighbourhood in Jaranwala tehsil of Punjab province in August this year.

Reportedly, the bench to be led by Justice Ijazul Ahsan will also comprise Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail.

This is the second time the petition has been fixed for a hearing.

Previously, the case was scheduled for hearing on August 22 by another three-member bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Shahid Waheed. But later the court deferred the hearing on discovering that the Human Rights Cell had not received the police report about the incident.

On August 16, a mob vandalized several churches and set scores of houses on fire in a Christian neighbourhood in Jaranwala, after some clerics using mosque pulpits incited local Muslims to attack the Christian community over the allegations of blasphemy.

Minority leader Samuel Pyara had moved the Supreme Court under a miscellaneous petition, to take notice of the Jaranwala incident.

The violent mob that committed arson also looted valuables from the houses of local Christians who had fled to the fields and safer places fearing for their lives.

Following the incident, two cases were registered under charges of terrorism and blasphemy against the arsonists. At least 37 suspects were nominated and more than 600 unidentified people were included in the investigation.

Two men suspected of having incited violence against the worship places of Christians were arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) a day after the incident.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt