Grace Bible Fellowship Church Pakistan, a missionary trust, has filed a writ petition through its chairman Peter Charles requesting the court to order a judicial inquiry committee to ensure a fair investigation into and trial of the perpetrators of the Jaranwala incident.

The petitioner states that an incident of alleged defiling of the Holy Quran, unfortunately, happened in Jaranwala, and through announcements from local mosques, a severe riot took place by a furious mob of Muslim devotees. The mob ransacked the properties of Christian residents, and the riotous elements torched more than 25 churches of and over 50 houses, along with household articles, using petrol bombs.

Petition submits that the members of the Christian community of the area still live in a state of fear and at risk to their lives and liberty, alleging that the local administration and law enforcement authorities deliberately failed to control the violent mob and the law and order situation.

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It further states that although joint investigation teams (JITs) constituted by the government will submit their findings after completion of due course, which is a time taking practice, whereas the victims seek instant remedies to restore their routine life.

Expressing its concerns over the working of the JITs, the Christian body says more than 500 suspects were involved in the riots, but the police have only arrested 25 to 30, just to save their skins. It alleges that police officials are also under undue pressure from influential extremist elements.

The petition pleads that the Christian community is dissatisfied with the performance and discriminating behaviour of the police, as well as the proceedings of the JITs.

It urges the court to restrain the police from engaging in illegal abduction, harassment and pressurising of the members of the Christian community at the behest of religious elements for any undue, unfair compromise and settlement.

Advocate Shahbaz Fazal Saroya, the petitioner’s counsel, resubmitted the petition after removing the objections raised by the registrar’s office.