SAHIWAL, Sept 6: Sense prevailed that had helped averted Gojra-like tragedy in a Chichawatni village 8/11-L on Sunday after some saner personalities of Christian and Muslim faiths with the assistance of inter-faith activists and police thwarted the nefarious designs of unscrupulous elements.
People blamed ‘outsiders’ for trying to create a rift and communal clash between the Christian and Muslim communities living together peacefully for the last four generations.
With a population of around 4,000 souls, the village is divided in two portions -one is dominated by the Christian community and the other by Sunni Muslims.
The village houses two mosques and three churches belonging to Catholic, Salvation Army and Associate Reforms Presbyterian.
The people of both communities have strong social interaction and they regularly participate in each other’s marriages and deaths.
“No communal tension has ever been witnessed in this village”, Prof Yaqoob Din, a permanent resident and the district minority committee president, told Dawn.
Reports said that women of local landlord Abid on Sept 4 had found some pages of the Holy Quran in their fields. Similar pages were also found in other areas of Muslim and Christian communities, including in front of the two churches.
Elders of both communities immediately gathered there and collected all pages of the Holy Quran from different locations of the village and informed the Ghaziabad police about the matter.
SHO Hafiz Saeed immediately brought the matter to the notice of the high-ups in the DPO office.
Prayer leaders of local mosques and fathers of churches held marathon meetings to sort out the matter.
On Sunday, a delegation comprising provincial Interfaith Peace Committee secretary-general Raziullah Hazarvi, Human Rights International office-bearer Shahid Riaz and Gospel Mission’s Ibrahim Denial met with local community leaders, former nazim Muhammad Waseem, Prof Dr Yaqoob Kishwar Gill and Robert Sindhu and ensure their full cooperation in keeping peace and harmony in the village.
It was learnt that FIR No 245/09 had been lodged against unknown persons under Section 295/B on the complaint of SHO Hafiz Seed.
Security branch in-charge Naveed Kiyani said that around 50 policemen had been deployed in the village.
He said that Chichawatni DSP Akram Khan and the Ghaziabad SHO were monitoring the situation.
“We have monitored few persons in Chichawatni and we will arrest them very soon for interrogation”, he said.