A mob in Pakistan killed one woman, member of a religious sect, together with 2 granddaughters. The attack came as one of the members of the sect was accused of having posted blasphemous materials on Facebook. This marks the latest instance of a growing violence noticed in the country against minorities.
Those killed were Ahmadis. Ahmadis consider themselves Muslim but do not believe in the prophet Mohammed. A law in Pakistan that appeared in 1984 declared those in the sect as being Non-Muslims. Pakistanis consider them heretics.
According to the police, violence started in Gujranwala after an altercation between a number of young men. One of men was Ahmadi and was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook.
After the incident, 150 people went to the police station and demanded to register a blasphemy case against the young men. As negotiations were done with the mob, another mob started attacking and burning Ahmadis houses.
Local resident Munawar Ahmed, declared:
“The attackers were looting and plundering, taking away fans and whatever valuables they could get hold of and dragging furniture into the road and setting fire to it. Some were continuously firing into the air. A lot of policemen arrived but they stayed on the sidelines and didn’t intervene.”
Blasphemy accusations are becoming constant in Pakistan. In 2011 there was only one filed and in 2013 there were 68 filed according to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. In 2014 we saw 100 such accusations being filed.
According to human rights workers, accusations are used in order to settle personal vendettas or in order to grab property.