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Pakistan to compensate Christians who misplaced houses in rioting over alleged desecration of Quran

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MULTAN, Pakistan — Authorities in Pakistan are promising 2 million rupees ($6,800) in compensation for every of almost 100 poor Christians who misplaced their houses when a Muslim mob angered over the alleged desecration of a Quran stormed their neighborhoods, burning at the least 16 church buildings and damaging homes, officers stated Monday.

Police stated they’ve arrested dozens extra rioters in ongoing raids, bringing the entire variety of detainees to 160.

Mohsin Naqvi, the highest official in Punjab province, made the announcement on X, beforehand generally known as Twitter, a day after he visited Jaranwala in Punjab, the place a whole bunch of Muslims went on a rampage final Wednesday over allegations {that a} Christian man and his pal had desecrated Islam’s holy guide.

Naqvi held a Cupboard assembly at a burned church in Jaranwala to get approval for the compensation for the victims of final week’s violence within the presence of native clergymen and residents.

Tons of of terrified Christians who fled their houses have returned solely to see destruction in every single place. They’ve been dwelling outdoors their burned houses, fearing the buildings might collapse.

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“They’re apprehensive for his or her security, they’re apprehensive for his or her youngsters, who witnessed the tragedy and are traumatized,” Christian Priest Khalid Mukhtar stated. He stated in response to his info, all 26 church buildings in Jaranwala had been attacked, burned or broken.

The rioters stated a neighborhood Christian and his pal tore pages out of a Quran, threw them on the bottom and wrote insulting remarks on different pages. Police have arrested the 2 males.

Native police chief Mansoor Sadiq stated they’ve arrested 160 rioters and are persevering with raids to arrest 450 extra suspects.

A Christian graveyard was additionally desecrated in Wednesday’s violence, authorities stated.

On Monday, Naqvi, the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, stated all Christians who suffered monetary losses from the assaults will obtain 2 million rupees within the subsequent 48 hours. He stated authorities have begun to restore the church buildings, and that each one broken locations of worship can be restored to their unique situation.

However Mukhtar instructed The Related Press that Naqvi and different officers solely visited one broken church on Sunday and didn’t go to the houses of anybody who suffered losses. He challenged Naqvi’s declare concerning the restore of church buildings, saying that the partitions of two church buildings had been solely painted, and wanted to be rebuilt.

Final week’s assault was one of the crucial damaging within the nation’s historical past. The violence drew nationwide condemnation, with caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar ordering the arrest of all these linked to the rioting.

Underneath Pakistan’s blasphemy legal guidelines, anybody discovered responsible of insulting Islam might be sentenced to loss of life. Whereas authorities have but to hold out capital punishment for blasphemy, usually mere accusations can incite mobs to violence.


Ahmed reported from Islamabad.

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