SC rejects police report in Badami Bagh case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Monday rejected a report submitted by the Punjab Police in Badami Bagh suo moto case, adding that that the police seemed more engaged in providing protecting to criminals, Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry was hearing the suo motu notice on Saturday’s arson attack on a Christian neighbourhood in Lahore’s Badami Bagh area in which over 100 houses were burnt down. Fortunately, there were no causalities.

At the onset of today’s hearing, acting Inspector General Punjab Police turned up and submitted a report over the incident. He said that police baton-charged to disperse the protestors. At which, the court said the police played their role as silent spectators.

The chief justice expressed his displeasure over the delayed registration of the First Information Report (FIR) in the wake of the arson.

The chief justice further asked as to why the neighbourhood had been evacuated, adding that no reason had been given for the measure. The bench also questioned whether the attack was in fact a property-related matter.

Reprimanding IG Punjab, the chief justice remarked that as to why the police chief of the province was not trying to get to the facts of the matter and whether he was capable of performing his duties.

An outraged mob on Saturday attacked and set ablaze a number of houses of Christian community in Josephabad Colony of Lahore over alleged blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by Sawan Masih, a 28-year-old Christian sanitation worker.

There was no casualty as members of the Christian community, including women and children, had left the neighbourhood on Friday night after police advised them to do so. A church and several shops were also torched by the mob. Police put the number of burnt houses at 125. Around 25 were arrested.

Police took the alleged blasphemer into custody in the small hours of Saturday. Later a magistrate sent him on judicial remand.

DND