Faisalabad: Two human rights activists in Pakistan from Karachi were allegedly detained and tortured by police on accusations of misbehaviour, Dawn News reported on Saturday.

As per Dawn News, the incident was raised by lawyer and rights activist Jibran Nasir on Friday in a post on X.

In a post about what he dubbed “extremely alarming and condemnable action by Punjab police”, Nasir said two prominent human rights activists from Karachi, Pastor Ghazala Shafique and Luke Victor, were visiting Faisalabad to help Reverend Father Eleazar Sidhu.

The Pakistan-based news daily reported that the Christian priest Sidhu who served at Myong-Sang-Naserth church in Jaranwala Tehsil was shot at and injured on September 3 when he was returning home from the church in the evening.

The FIR also mentioned that he was leading prayers in the church on August 28 when someone wrote objectionable religious slogans against him on the outer wall of the church, which were whitewashed by police on his complaint.

Dawn news reported that some unidentified people threatened him, saying, “As our written slogans have been deleted from the wall of the church, soon you will also be deleted,” the FIR said.

According to the post by Activist on X, Sidhu was arrested, “unlawfully kept captive by local police and subjected [to] torture, being forced to state that the deadly attack on him after the Jaranwala incident was self-inflicted”.

He alleged that Sidhu was forced into giving a statement that he “shot himself so real culprits could remain safe”.

In a subsequent post, he said Pastor Ghazala Shafique had been released but alleged that her phone was withheld by police.

“She contacted her family from someone else’s phone,” he said, adding: “She revealed that the police put a black cloth on Luke Victor’s face and took him and Pastor Vicky (Sidhu) away beating them both.”

In a third post, Nasir alleged that police personnel at Saddar police station in Faisalabad had “badly beaten up Luke Victor”.

Nasir went on to say: “The interim Punjab chief minister, the interim prime minister, and the incumbent chief justice of Pakistan all visited Jaranwala to help victims. Luke did the same, but he wasn’t powerful and influential so Punjab police got to torture him.

“Pastor Ghazala is afraid that if only Luke is allowed to leave then police might torture and harm Pastor Vicky further.”

It was reported that August 16, 2023, marked a tragic day for the Christian community in Jaranwala.

A brutal and destructive attack unfolded, resulting in the desecration of 24 churches, some reduced to rubble, and the widespread looting and burning of hundreds of homes across 11 areas in the Faisalabad district.

This eruption of violence was triggered by unfounded rumours and allegations of blasphemy targeting a Christian resident in Jaranwala’s Christian Town.