Tuesday, 7 June 2011

GOJRA burnt again

Images of black smoke are still fresh in our minds, the grief for our Christian brothers and sisters who died in Gojra is still painful to even imagine; the horrendous murder of chilldren and women is unforgotten. 
Christians have been waiting impatiently to seek justice for one of the most barbaric acts against minorities in Pakistan; but once again Pakistan's legal system has failed with the release of 70 suspects.
A special Anti-Terrorism court in Faisalabad released on bail all 70 suspects arrested responsible for the brutal attack in Gojra citing the reason as absence of five witnesses who are not in the country, who may have fled due to threats of extremists, which clearly reflects the security provided by law enforcement agencies to witnesses. During the inquiry, 185 witnesses gave their written statements, however it is being reported five witnesses had already left the country. A case under section-7 of the Anti Terrorism Act was registered against the suspects, but none of the accused were convicted.

The black day mourned by Christians in Pakistan is July 31 2009 when Christian Colony including the area called Korian, was set ablaze resulting in the deaths of eight Christians when 60 houses were also set on fire. The attacks were insitigated by a false complaint received by a mosque that a Christian had committed blasphemy at a wedding ceremony in a nearby village. As tensions escalated over the accusation, a mob was gathered in Gojra by local clerics who used speakers of mosques to attack Christians with assistance of a banned extermist group.
All roads leading to the neighbourhood were blocked, Police, ambulances and fire-brigades were not allowed to enter in order to save the victims and a chemical was thrown on all houses that would not extinguish flames  with water and caused immense damage by rapidly burning. 
More than 100 houses were looted consisting of cattle, bikes, electronics and valuables; during this attack and upto 2 Churches were ransacked desecrating religious books.

For almost 2 years newspapers have reported arrests and inquiries resulting in nothing but disappointment and a mockery of Pakistan's Justice system. 
It seems as if they've burnt Gojra again.

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