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October 29, 2015

20 indicted in lynching case

Lahore

October 29, 2015

LAHORE
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge, Muhammad Qasim, Wednesday framed charges against 20 Christians accused of lynching two Muslims suspecting them terrorists after Youhanabad twin church blasts.
On March 14, victims Babar Nauman and Hafiz Naeem were beaten and burnt to death after being snatched from the hands of police by an enraged mob of Christians, who were furious over blasts in two churches of Youhanabad.
The accused present before the court denied charges leveled against them saying that they were innocent and had nothing to do with burning the victims.
After their refusal to accept the crime, the court indicted them. The court has directed prosecution to produce its witnesses on the next hearing.
Previously, police had submitted challan against the accused declaring them guilty. The police had stated that the accused were arrested after their identification through video footage and through the record of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra). As per incident details, on March 14, two suicide bombers exploded themselves outside two churches in Youhanabad. These blasts claimed lives of 15 people and two policemen who were deployed there for security. Moreover, more than 80 people received severe injuries. The Christians protested the blasts and unfortunately their protest took an ugly turn when they caught two Muslims from the site over the suspicion that they were involved in blasts and burnt them alive. The victims were identified as Babar Nauman who was a garment worker and other was Hafiz Naeem, a glass cutter by profession.
It is pertinent to mention here that he Jamaat-ul-Ahrar splinter group of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which had claimed responsibility for the Wagah Border attacks also claimed the responsibility of Youhanabad church blasts through their spokesman Ehsan Ullah Ehsan. The Nishtar Town police had registered total four FIRs after this incident. First FIR was against TTP terrorists. The second and third FIR was related to lynching Muslims. The police had arrested Aslam Masih, Ilyas Masih, Chand Masih, Waris Masih, Faisal Masih, Anmol Masih, Sadaqat Zia Masih, Fayyaz Masih, Sumbal Barkat Masih, Sumbal Dicson, Salamat Masih, Kashif Masih, Zakria Masih, Shehzad Masih, Rafaqat Masih, Rohail Masih, Riaz Masih, Nazeer Masih, Tariq Masih, Irshad Masih, Asif Masih and Ashfaque Masih over the charges of burning alive Naeem and Nauman.