A Christian man was arrested in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Sunday night following allegations that he desecrated a Qur’an, activists and police said. Humayun Faisal, a middle aged man and a resident Dhoop Saari area of Gulshan-e-Raavi, was accused by a Muslim of setting on fire a box containing the holy book. As rumors of the incineration spread, hundreds of enraged people gathered and tried to torch Saint Joseph Catholic Church, resulting in a clash with riot police. Haider Ashraf, a senior police officer, suffered a minor head injury after being pelted with stones. Paramilitary rangers force were called in to break up the protest and disperse the mob. Humayun was immediately taken into custody and booked under Section 295-B, which relates to desecration of the Quran. Shamim Masih, a Christian journalist, told ucannews.com that dozens of families fled their homes Sunday night over fears a violent reaction from the mob. Local media quoted relatives saying that Humayun was mentally unstable and his health condition was known to everyone in the area. In Dhoop Saari, the situation remains tense and large numbers of police guards were posted throughout the area on Monday. Sardar Mushtq Gill, a Christian lawyer who rushed to the spot, said many houses are still locked to prevent attacks. He, however, said that people are now returning back due to the heavy police deployment in streets housing Christians. Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law is often used by extremists to target minorities or settle personal scores. Mere allegations have led to several incidents of mob attacks in recent years.
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