- Police register 17 new cases against rioters as 200 detained
The police in Punjab’s Jaranwala have arrested a pastor, Amjad Alam, in connection with the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran that sparked the violence in the city last week.
At least 19 churches and 86 houses of the Christian community were burnt down during the riots on August 16.
A mob went on a rampage after rumours spread that the police were not arresting two men named in an FIR and accused of desecrating the Holy Quran.
Both men were arrested on August 17 a day after they fled Jaranwala for their lives, Punjab’s caretaker chief minister announced on X, formerly Twitter. Police later confirmed to the news agency Reuters that they were brothers.
The police on Thursday arrested Pastor Amjad Alam. He recorded a video shortly before the arrest.
“The CIA people are here to arrest me and I am being arrested,” said Amjad referring to a department of the police.
He said he was in Peshawar on August 16 and not in Jaranwala. “I have nothing to do with this issue. I had gone to Islamabad to find some location for my restuarant and on August 16 I left Islamabad for Peshawar. When I recieved the call at around 6pm on August 16, I was in Peshawar,” he said.
Geo News quoted Alam’s wife as saying that her husband was arrested merely for being an acquaintance of the original accused.
More cases against rioters
Meanwhile, the authorities have registered 17 new cases against people involved in riots, bringing the number to 21.
A total of 750 people have been named in the cases registered after the violence and police were raiding different locations to arrest rioters.
At least 200 people have been arrested so far.