Ghotki police registered three cases against rioters who had taken to the streets to protest against an alleged incident of blasphemy a day before, Sukkur Additional Inspector General (AIG) Jamil Ahmed said on Monday.
All first information reports (FIR) have been filed in the Ghotki A-section police station with the state as the complainant.
One FIR was filed under Sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). AIG Ahmed said that Section 295 was included because the protesters had vandalised a Hindu temple. Police have nominated 45 people in the FIR, out of which 22 are named while 23 are unidentified.
Another case was lodged against 150 people — 27 named and 123 unidentified persons — for blocking roads. A third FIR pertaining to rioting and theft was filed against 23 people, including 11 unidentified persons, over reports that protesters had stolen goods from multiple shops in Shahi Bazar.
Police have asked the school administration to file a separate complaint against people who damaged the building and infrastructure, so that a fourth FIR can be registered. If the administration of the school is reluctant to act as complainant, it should inform the police so the case can be lodged on behalf of the state, the management was told.
In response to a question regarding the principal of the school, who has been accused of committing blasphemy, AIG Ahmed said that he will be taken to court after the law and order situation has been assessed.
Though the situation in Ghotki is relatively calm today, shops owned by Hindu residents in the Ladies Market, Shahi Bazaar and other areas remained closed. Delegations of political parties visited Dhaam Mandir today, which had been vandalised by mobs, and expressed solidarity with the Hindu community.
Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party Chairman Qadir Magsi, who was among the politicians who visited the temple, called for a judicial inquiry of the matter.