Salman Taseer’s commemoration attacked in Lahore

Published January 4, 2015
A woman lights a candle next to an image of the governor of Punjab Salman Taseer. – Reuters/file
A woman lights a candle next to an image of the governor of Punjab Salman Taseer. – Reuters/file

LAHORE: Unidentified miscreants attacked a candlelight vigil organised to mark death anniversary of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer who was murdered by his own security guard Mumtaz Qadri for demanding reforms in Pakistan’s blasphemy laws in 2011.

The attack was carried out when members of civil society gathered at Liberty Chowk to light candles in the slain politician’s memory.

Qadri, who was Taseer's bodyguard, shot him dead on January 4, 2011 at Kohsar Market in Islamabad over the politician's call for blasphemy laws to be reformed.

An anti-terrorism court had awarded death penalty to Mumtaz Qadri in October the same year.

Qadri was feted as a hero by a wide section of the public, including lawyers, and was even showered with rose petals as he arrived at court for a trial hearing.

Know more: Salman Taseer's killer incited shooting of elderly blasphemy inmate

The baton wielding miscreants tore apart banners and posters as they attacked members of civil society. Several people were injured in the sudden attack. The attackers, however, managed to flee before police arrived at the scene.

Civil society activists said that candlelight vigils have been organised in Taseer’s memory for the last four years, but this was the first time it was attacked.

Ordering a probe into the incident, DCO Captain (retd) Mohammad Usman has ordered swift arrest of the culprits behind the attack.

Other police officials told the media later that the eye witness accounts have been recorded and vowed that the culprits would soon be brought to justice.

Reaction on social media

Condemnation poured in soon after the incident was reported on local media with politician and members of civil society demanding arrest of the culprits.

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