LAHORE - Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs (HR&MA) Ijaz Alam Augustine, on Sunday, visited Sheikhupura and took strict notice of damage caused to a church in Pind Hakimpur area of the district by unidentified persons.

According to a handout issued on Sunday, he directed the police officials to immediately register an FIR and ensure protection of the church.

The provincial minister was informed by the police officials that a dispute was going on between two groups over the ownership of one-and-a-half kanals of land adjacent to the church. A few days ago, a party claimed ownership of 6-marla land on the church premises, and damaged the door and a wall of the church. Police took immediate action and started raids to arrest the accused. However, the accused could not be arrested till filing of the report.

The minister directed the district administration to conduct a transparent inquiry into the matter and submit a detailed report within a week. He said that during the PTI government, no one would be allowed to hurt any religious community as the protection of human rights in the province was prime responsibility of the Punjab government.

He assured the Christian community that justice would prevail and strict action would be taken against all those involved in the attack.

Later, the provincial minister visited the village Kharianwala in Sheikhupura to condole with the bereaved families over the recent killing of eight people. District Police Officer (DPO) Sheikhupura Ghazi Salah-ud-Din informed the minister that incident happened due to an old enmity between two groups -- Soli Jutt and Khadim Jutt.

The minister assured the aggrieved family that those taking the law into their hands would be taken to task and the family would be given justice at all costs. He also directed the police officials to provide protection to the aggrieved family and make all arrangements to stop these types of incidents in future.