Christians protest against police 'harassment' in Lahore
ISLAMABAD: Protesting against the alleged harassment by a police team at a church during a Sunday service, the Christian residents of Lahore’s Fazlia Colony blocked arterial Ferozeupur Road throwing traffic out of gear for several hours.
The protesters alleged that one of the policemen had barged into The United Church, hurled abuses at the worshipers and slapped the pastor when he was stopped from entering with his shoes on, reports The Express Tribune.
One of the protesters, who identified himself as Rizwan Aslam, said he was attending the service at the church when a police team came there. He added that when the cops were stopped at the entrance by the guard, they pushed him aside and one of them barged into the church with his shoes on.
When Pastor Riaz went up to the policeman and requested him to respect the worship place, the cop started hurling abuses and assaulted him, he alleged.
The incident created panic in the area, drawing the attention of Christian citizens attending Sunday congregations in nearby churches of the Christ and Iqbal Church.
When the police team was asked about the reason for their raid, they said they had received a call at the 15 helpline about the use of loudspeaker at the church, said other pastors.
They, however, dismissed allegation that loudspeakers were being used at the church.
Another resident of the area, who was attending the service at The Church of Christ when the incident took place, said a rumour spread that there had been a terrorist attack at The United Church.
He added that there was panic among the people attending the service as last year’s suicide blasts at churches in Youhanabad area flashed in their mind.
The police, meanwhile, said they have suspended the constable Ameer Abdullah and also ordered a departmental inquiry against him.
The police analysed the record of calls received from the area on its 15 helpline to ascertain whether some local resident was trying to disrupt communal harmony. ANI