Gojra's riots to "make mincemeat of the Christians" were pre-planned: HRCP

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Lahore, Aug. 5 (ANI): The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has said that the recent anti-Christian riots in Gojra were pre-planned, and not a spontaneous reaction of an enraged Muslim community.

According to an HRCP report, announcements made from mosques in Gojra on July 31 urged Muslims to gather and "make mincemeat of the Christians" over allegation of desecration of the Holy Quran, the Daily Times reports.

The report adds that witnesses and police officials confirmed hearing the announcements.

On August 1, around 1,000 people gathered in the area and marched towards the Christian Colony. A police contingent present in the neighbourhood did not try to stop the mob, which included a number of masked men, the HRCP report says.

The report quoted witnesses, as saying that the attackers appeared trained for arson.

The protesters carried inflammable substances and torched more than 40 houses of Christian families in less than half an hour.

Furthermore, the commission report claims that a number of attackers belonged to the banned Sipah-e-Sahaba and other extremist organisations.

The HRCP concluded that the tragic incidents were a "comprehensive failure" by the government to protect minorities.

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer has said that the terrorists who fled the operation in Swat were behind the recent Gojra riots.

"The culprits will not be spared and will be given exemplary punishment once the judicial inquiry concludes," Taseer said.

However, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that Al Qaeda and the Taliban were being suspected for involvement in Gojra riots, where eight Christians were burnt alive.

The government received an intelligence report two months ago suggesting the Taliban were switching from suicide bombings to inciting sectarian strife, he said. (ANI)

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