ATC indicts 20 in Youhanabad lynching caseAn Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) indicted 20 suspects in the Youhanabad lynching case of two men here on Wednesday. All suspects pleaded not guilty before the court.

ATC judge Muhammad Qasim heard the lynching case in which a mob brutally killed two men in the aftermath of the deadly church bombings in Lahore’s Youhanabad area on March 15 earlier this year.

The investigation police had arrested over 60 suspects in connection with the lynching of victims Babar Noman and Naeem. All suspects, except for 20, were released by the police.

Read: More suspects behind bars in lynching case

In the final challan presented before the court by Nishtar Colony police against the 20 accused, it was stated that the suspects violently torched two innocent citizens to death following the church blasts.

The police had taken the suspects into custody after matching their images from cellphone footages and pictures and subsequently with the record of Nadra.

After hearing the arguments, the court charged the suspects in the lynching case and adjourned the next hearing to Nov 5, when the prosecution is expected to produce witnesses.

Fifteen people, a woman and a policeman among them, were killed and 85 others suffered injuries after two bombers blew themselves up outside two churches in Youhanabad.

Soon after the incident, members of the Christian community launched protests. The protesters soon turned violent and an angry mob grabbed two unidentified people who what the protesters claimed were the associates of the suicide bombers and started thrashing them. They burned them alive in the presence of police.

The two victims were identified by their families as Babar Noman, a garment worker who had come to Lahore from Sargodha in search of employment at a factory, and Hafiz Naeem, a glass cutter.

Examine: Killing outside churches, lynching in the streets

Anti-riot police led by senior officers and equipped with anti-riot equipment did not stop the mob from attacking public and private property.

Punjab Police IG Mushtaq Sukhera had said after the lynching incident: “The policemen did attempt to resist but the mob was highly charged. It was not impossible to use force at that time because it could turn the situation ugly and perhaps out of control.”

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s Jamaatul Ahrar faction had reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.