Fact Finding Report of Father’s Colony Incident

On 17th June 2017 M.A. Joseph Francis National Director CLAAS along with Mrs. Shunila Ruth MPA (PTI) and CLAAS team members visited the locals in Kharian District Gujrat and met with the victims’ families of Father’s Colony incident that occurred on 08th June 2017. Team also visited the District Police office. According to the locals, police allegedly tortured Christian residents of Father’s Colony in Kharian and used third degree torture. Local Christians claim that the cops beat Christian children, women and men alike. Police have involved these Christians in false cases, while Christian community is urging the Chief Minister of Punjab to take notice of the incident.

Details emerged that Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Muhammad Azeem along with his force raided the cricket ground in Father’s Colony- a predominantly Christian neighborhood. Police alleged that the local youth had been involved in match fixing and drug trafficking. Consequently, the cops tried to hook the youngsters which resulted in clash between locals and the police force. After the clash erupted, police force withdrew from the neighborhood however, after the sunset SHO Tanveer Abbas Bhatti sent heavy contingents of Police and Elite Force to Father’s Colony. The police invaded the houses of Christians unleashing inhumane series of torture on Christian children, women and men. Moreover, the police also opened fire at the residents of Father’s Colony wounding many.

On the other hand, Police sustains that it carried out an operation against criminals. Police claims that the locals obstructed during the operation, for which reason they were tortured. Police says that during the operation locals launched an attack on the cops, injuring four policemen. Consequently, an FIR no 34/17 has been registered against Christians of Father’s Colony. In this FIR 18 Christians have been nominated along with 25 unknown persons. Police arrested 3 people namely Saeen Mehmood, Farhan Riaz and Asif Shangara and confined them in the police station where they brutally tortured them. Police also opened fire at Mehboob son of Saeen Mehmood and he got hit by the one out of four gun shots fired at him and wounded his left thigh. Local Christians demand that the police should carry out operations against criminals and drug dealers however they must not entangle innocent civilians in false cases. Christians condemned unlawful police operation in Father’s Colony where police harassed and tortured Christian residents.

After many protests, the District Police Officer (DPO) Gujrat took action and suspended Tanveer Abbas Bhatti Station House Officer (SHO) of Guliana Police Station District Gujrat. In his statement, Ammad Zafar Superintendent of Police (SP) said that the police raid at Christians was an illegal act. During the conversation with police officials Mr. M.A. Joseph Francis National Director CLAAS asked about any record against the Christian but police failed to provide any record. Further the real culprits behind this incident are Malik Akram and Ehsaan Dar belonging to Muslim League (N) who had personal conflicts with Saeen Mehmood and the Christian community. As Mr. Roqas is elected by PTI as the District member of Gujrat therefore Muslim League (N) created issues over this.

After hearing about this incident Mrs. Shunila Ruth MPA (PTI) intervened and raised her voice in Punjab Assembly. Rana Sana Ullah (Law Minister) took notice and ordered immediate bails of the arrested innocents. The concerned DPO after canceling the FIR discharged the arrested person from allegations leveled against them.

Reported by: CLAAS

Dated: 17th June 2017