The Jaranwala police in Faisalabad District have filed two terror cases against over 600 people for ransacking and burning Christians’ homes and a church building. A violent mob of hundreds had attacked and set fire to five churches, as well as the residences of Christians, the office of the local assistant commissioner, a Christian cemetery, and the local assistant commissioner’s office. The violence was sparked by allegations that desecrated pages of the Holy Quran had been found near a house where two Christian brothers lived. The Punjab government has imposed Section 144, which prohibits assembly, except for government events, for seven days. The government has also ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident and made over 100 arrests. The first information reports (FIRs) state that a mob of 500-600 people, led by a group of individuals, attacked the Christian community and ransacked their homes and the church building. The FIRs include charges under the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Pakistan Penal Code. The violence unfolded after announcements were made from mosques encouraging people to react to the alleged blasphemy incident. The situation turned more volatile when members of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan joined in and incited further violence. The mob attacked churches, burnt Christian homes, and vandalized a graveyard. The office of the local assistant commissioner was also attacked.
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