JHELUM – Police have arrested up to 35 people over sectarian riots in Jhelum which reportedly forced members of the minority Ahamdi community to flee their homes, authorities said Tuesday.
The unrest began Friday when an angry mob in the city torched a factory after one of its employees, a member of the Ahmadi sect, was accused of committing blasphemy by burning pages of the Holy Quran.
On Saturday, protesters ransacked an Ahmadi mosque in the congested Kala Gujran area of the city and set fire to some Ahmadi homes.
“Police have arrested up to 35 people in connection with the violence,” district police chief Mujahid Akbar told AFP.
Akbar said that police were hunting up to 70 other people who incited others and indulged in violence.
Paramilitary Rangers were called in to quell the violence and remain deployed in the area, he added.
According to local councillor Muhammad Asif, around 18 Ahmadi families had left their homes for protection.