ANI Photo | Pakistan: Christian boy arrested under blasphemy law for sharing stuff on Jaranwala

A Christian youth was arrested by the Pakistan Police under the blasphemy law and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 for reposting and resharing hate material (letter), reported Dawn News on Monday.
Dawn News reported that the letter which was shared by the youngster has contributed to the spread of violence against the Christian community in Jaranwala and he was arrested from Chak 186/9-L.
The news daily reported that the boy was arrested under Section 11 of PECA 2016, Section 7 of the ATA and Sections 295 (A) and 295 (B) of the PPC on the complaint of Dera Rahim Police Station SHO Amir Farooq.
Commenting on the case, the SHO said the youth was arrested and shifted to an unknown location for further interrogation. The youth was running a social media account and he had uploaded the letter on TikTok. The letter, containing alleged blasphemous remarks, was presented as evidence against two Christian youths in Jaranwala.
Apart from this, Pakistan’s Punjab Caretaker CM Mohsin Naqvi faced protests after the hundreds of Catholic Christians of Jaranwala alleged that the interim CM ignored the Christian colony on his visit to Jaranwala, Dawn news reported.  
The Dawn news quoted a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Faisalabad Vicar General Fr Abid Tanveer said, the biggest church of Jaranwala, the Catholic Church, located in Christian Colony, was burnt and demolished in the riots and 200 houses were damaged in the locality while their valuables were also looted.
He alleged that the Caretaker CM ignored the locality and this hurts the sentiments of the Catholics. They staged a protest against the alleged injustice and announced that the protest would continue until the CM visits the colony of Catholics.
It is to be mentioned that Faisalabad Catholic Bishop Indrias Rehmat, Fr Khalid Rashid Assi and Fr Khalid Mukhtar led the prayers outside the destroyed church where hundreds of women and men participated. A group of young Christians chanted slogans against the attacks, Dawn News reported.
The protesters also held a sit-in on the Chak Jhumra Road when the CM visited Essa Nagar.
The locality had the United Presbyterian (UP) Church which was also burnt along with other smaller churches in the locality. Presbyterianism is from the Protestant faith of Christianity different from Roman Catholicism. 
On Wednesday, multiple churches were vandalised in the Jaranwala tehsil of Faisalabad. A Christian leader, Akmal Bhatti, said the crowd had torched at least five churches, Pakistan-based Dawn reported. Images on social media platforms showed smoke billowing out from the church buildings and people setting fire to furniture that had been dragged from them.
Speaking to Dawn, Imran Bhatti, the pastor of the Jaranwala tehsil said that the Salvation Army Church, United Presbyterian Church, Allied Foundation Church and Shehroonwala Church located in Isa Nagri region were ransacked.
Bhatti further said that the house of a Christian cleaner, who was accused of blasphemy, has also been demolished. Punjab police chief Usman Anwar said that the police were holding negotiations with the protesters and the area had been cordoned off. Speaking to Dawn, the provincial police chief said, “There are narrow lanes [in the area] in which small two to three marla churches are located and there is one main church … they have vandalised portions of the churches.”The official further said that efforts were being made to control the situation by situation by engaging with peace committees. The official said that the police in the province had been activated. Usman Anwar said, “The assistant commissioner of the area, a member of the Christian community, has also been evacuated after people turned against him,” Dawn reported.
Meanwhile, Christian leaders said that the police remained silent spectators, the report said. President Bishop of the Church of Pakistan Azad Marshall said Christians were being tortured and harassed.
Bishop Azad Marshall, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Words fail me as I write this. We, Bishops, Priests and lay people are deeply pained and distressed at the Jaranwala incident in the Faisalabad District in Pakistan. A church building is being burnt as I type this message. Bibles have been desecrated and Christians have been tortured and harassed having been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran. We cry out for justice and action from law enforcement and those who dispense justice and the safety of all citizens to intervene immediately and assure us that our lives are valuable in our own homeland that has just celebrated independence and freedom.” (ANI)

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