LAHORE: An antiterrorism court on Saturday acquitted for lack of evidence 115 suspects involved in the torching of more than 100 houses of Christians at Joseph Colony in the Badami Bagh area following an alleged blasphemy incident in 2013.
The court acquitted the accused persons due to lack of evidence and witnesses.
A charged mob had rampaged through Joseph Colony and set on fire the houses following alleged blasphemy committed by a suspect, Sawan Masih. Hundreds of residents were displaced following the violence.
A court had tried Masih and sentenced him to death in a verdict delivered in 2014.
During Saturday’s hearing, Advocate Ghulam Murtaza Chaudhry argued that the prosecution had failed to bring even a single piece of evidence to establish the charges against the suspects. He asked the court to acquit them.
A deputy prosecutor general opposed the arguments of the defence side. He said the evidence provided by the prosecution was enough to convict the suspects. He said the incident had not only spread a wave of terror in the city but also given a bad to name to Pakistan.
The presiding judge, Chaudhry Mohammad Azam, accepted the arguments of defence and acquitted the suspects for lack of evidence.