Youhanabad attack: Police arrest 106 linked to Lahore protests

Updated 25 Mar 2015

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Lahore police, with the help of Nadra, identified and arrested 106 suspects believed to be involved in the violent Youhanabad protests. ─ DawnNews screengrab
Lahore police, with the help of Nadra, identified and arrested 106 suspects believed to be involved in the violent Youhanabad protests. ─ DawnNews screengrab
Protestors pelted stones at policemen and blocked the roads ─ DawnNews screengrab
Protestors pelted stones at policemen and blocked the roads ─ DawnNews screengrab
The police had been given instructions by the Punjab government to use tear gas to disperse the crowd ─ DawnNews screengrab
The police had been given instructions by the Punjab government to use tear gas to disperse the crowd ─ DawnNews screengrab

LAHORE: The Lahore police with the help of the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) identified and arrested 106 suspects believed to be involved in the protests that erupted after the deadly Youhanabad church bombings.

Those arrested are currently being investigated by the police to determine their role in the protests. Videos of the protests and fingerprints from various sites were used to identify people using Nadra's database.

The suspects are currently being held at unknown locations and it is unclear how long they will be held. All those arrested are from the Christian community.

Following the terrorist attacks on the two churches in Lahore’s Youhanabad, overcome by their emotions and anger many young men belonging to the Christian community came out on the streets.

Protesters in Lahore's Youhanabad area clashed with dozens of baton-wielding police personnel.

During the protest, stones were pelted at policemen holding up protective plastic shields. Protesters in Lahore had also blocked roads ─ including a major highway that runs near the two attacked churches ─ preventing cars from passing.

The police had been given instructions by the Punjab government to use tear gas to disperse the crowd. Water canons were also used to push back the protesters.

Read more: One dead in violent protests against church bombings

One man died and several others were injured near Nishtar Colony when a terrified school teacher, surrounded by protesters, attempted to escape and accidentally hit the demonstrators circling her car.

TV footage also showed some men attacking a vehicle loaded with crates of soft beverages, and making off with dozens of bottles.

The situation was brought under control of police by the evening, as fresh contingents arrived at the site of the protest. Rangers also reached the protest site on the directives of the Punjab Home Department.

Talks between the Punjab government and Christian community had concluded successfully, with authorities forming a joint investigation team (JIT) in order to identify the suicide bombers through forensic reports and Nadra.

A protester had told DawnNews "The purpose of the sit-in is to shed light on the fact that the Christian community should be given protection and peaceful living conditions."

Read more: Church attack: A community mourns the dear departed