Rawalpindi: April 3, 2010. (XAvier William report for PCP) Five Muslim men and 5 Muslim women in Burqas (Veils) equipped with Kalashnikov rifles and Pistols attacked Chapel in vicinity of Gordon College after Good Friday Services on April 2, 2010,
and desecrated Holy Bibles and vandalized Chapel. They fire shots on Church windows and damaged every thing which they found in Chapel.
The armed group of Muslim men and Burqa covered women entered in Chapel at 7:45 PM and took control of Chapel, after taking over Church they moved to residential compound and started yelling on Christian children and women and took them as hostages.
According to PCP sources this Chapel is a property of the Evacuee Trust Properties which was closed from past many years. The Robinson Community Development Ministry RCDM took this property through the Gordon College for the Ministry purposes.
The Evacuee Trust Properties are maintained and managed by Federal Ministry of Minorities and being in vicinity of previously missionary College named Gordon College and after nationalization of missionary school and colleges by government of Pakistan in 1971, named as Government Gordon College have sizeable Christian residential facilities in neighborhood.
According to the sources a group armed with automatic weapons broke into the Church compound and broke the locks and entered the Church and the adjoining residence area in the Church compound. They put up new locks to the main entrance and the Church door. They also threw away the RCDM board which was at the gate.
They threw the Bibles on the floor and started throwing things around. They also entered the residential area and started yelling at the women and Children at home, they started looting the house at gun point, they harassed the women and children and took all the cash and jewelry.
One of the women at home called his brother Shaban Gill, who informed the police and Rescue Team. Imran Nasir another resident was also informed about the situation, his daughters 4 years old and 18 months were taken hostages along with his wife.
Shaban and Imran reached and saw that 3 gunmen are on the walls of the compound, they tried to climb in through the wall but armed gunman opened direct fire at Shaban who managed to save himself. In the mean time the police arrived at the scene.
The Chairman of RCDM Mr. Robinson Asghar arrived at the scene with his team. MNA (Member of National Assembly ) Malik Shakeel Awan`s office is located opposite to the chapel, the workers at the office tried to help the police.
The Police broke the gate and made a forced entry into the Church compound along with the women police and succeeded in arresting 5 men and 4 women and took control of the situation. The police also recovered automatic weapons along with bullets. A large number of the Christian community rushed to the scene, they supported the Punjab Police.
The Staion House Officer SHO Israr Ahmed Satti of the City Police Station, Raja Bazar arrived at the scene and took the arrested men and women to the police station. The SHO Police ordered 4 armed policemen to guard the Church Compound.
The police investigated and revealed that the arrested men are, Mushtaq Ahmed, Amjad Zaman Cheema
Dildar Hussain, Muhammad Anwer and Saqib Ali.
The Muslim women in Burqa in police custody were named as Nusrat Bibi, Shahnaz Bibi, Sadia bibi, Irum Bibi and Fatima Bibi
The arrested are in the lockup, the Christian community was trying to give an application against the arrested for attacking the Church, disrespecting the sanctity of the Church, looting, taking hostage, harassing the women and children and firing. Prof. Salamat Akhtar, Mehboob Alam, Ephlal Ministry, Life for All, PAkistan Christian Congress PCC, Faith Force Ministries, RCDM, CPM and others started protesting for the FIR ( First Information Report).
Brig (r) Simon Samson Sharaf also arrived at the police station and assisted Mr. Asghar in getting the FIR ( First Information Report) registered against the arrested. The copies of the FIR were given to the leaders. At around 3:30am it was noticed that the armed policemen which had been ordered to guard the Chapel, were not present on duty.