Two years later: Charges framed against 16 suspects in Joseph’s Colony rampage in Pakistan

Interfaith outreach in Pakistan: A mob torch people’s belongings over a blasphemy row in a Christian neighborhood in Lahore on March 9, 2013. — Photo by AFP

March 9, 2013, Lahore: An enraged mob torched dozens of houses located in a Christian-dominated neighbourhood of Lahore on Saturday, DawnNews reported.

The mob attacked the houses in Joseph Colony in Badami Bagh police precincts in the provincial capital following allegations of blasphemy against a Christian man. The man was booked under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

It appeared that the man had been falsely accused of blasphemy but the police was forced to register a case to placate the mob, a local police official said.

March 30, 2015, Lahore: An anti-terrorism court on Monday framed charges against 116 suspects involved in torching the churches and damaging public and private property in the Joseph Colony incident.

More than 3,000 Muslims rampaged through Joseph Colony, torching around 100 homes of the Christian community after the allegation of blasphemy against Sawan Masih.

The judge indicted 116 suspects after hearing the prosecution. The judge directed the police to produce six prosecution witnesses to record their statements on the next hearing on April 6.

Sawan Masih was convicted and sentenced to death by a local court for insulting the Prophet of Islam.