LAHORE – Traders and shopkeepers went on shutter down strike in Badami Bagh  on Monday to protest against the police raids.

However, the police claimed that at least 47 suspects were arrested in the raids during the last two days. The suspected mobsters were being interrogated in connection with the Saturday’s mob assault on the Joseph Colony. 

In a statement issued from the Central Police Office (CPO), the authorities denied thereports that the main accused in the assault on the Christian neighborhood was among the arrested suspects. “During the last two days, the police arrested 47 suspects,” the statement said.

On the other hand, the businessmen alleged that the police were raiding workplaces just to hide their own negligence. They claimed that the police, instead of arresting the accused, were capturing innocent traders.

“We have closed down our businesses and are on strike for an indefinite period to protest against police brutality,” Jamil Muhammad, a trader in the Loha Market in the Misri Shah area told reporters.

Police said many of the troublemakers who did the mob justice belonged to the same area and according to the video recordings, the suspects could be identified.

Investigators believe that the workers at the godowns in Misri Shah and Badami Bagh markets led the protests.

The police have forwarded the initial inquiry report to the Punjab chief minister, stating that  accused  Sawan Masih had passed derogatory remarks when he was drunk with his Muslim barber friend, Shahid Imran, also the complainant in the FIR.