LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed the police to beef up security at the churches and also arrest the persons accused of burning alive two in Youhanabad following blasts near churches on Sunday.

Presiding over a high level meeting on Monday, the chief minister reviewed law and order situation especially in the wake of blasts in Yuhanabad.

Terming the Youhanabad blasts and the following casualties in this tragic incident deplorable, he said the Punjab government equally shared the grief of the Christian brethren. He said that the elements involved in this tragedy would not escape the law and the government would fully fulfill its responsibilities in this regard.

“The demands of justice will be fulfilled at any cost. All citizens living in the country are equal Pakistanis irrespective of their colour, caste and creed and protection of life and property of the people is the responsibility of the government,” he held.

The chief minister directed police to further tighten the security of churches and foolproof arrangements should be made in this regard. He said that senior police officers should personally supervise security arrangements at these places. He said that the rights and worship places of Christians would be protected at any cost.

Shahbaz Sharif directed that effective measures be adopted for preventing such tragic incidents in future and a report be presented to him after conducting security audit of all places of worship.

The chief minister further directed that the elements which burnt to death two persons on Sunday be arrested and legal action be taken against them without any delay. He said that Punjab government would hold a thorough investigation into the incident and stern legal action would be taken against the guilty persons.

The chief minister further directed that all out efforts be made for maintaining law and order in the province and supremacy of law should be ensured. He said that Christian community has the right to protest but peace and law and order should be maintained. Initial report into the incident of bomb blasts was also presented to the chief minister while he was also informed about the progress into the case.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of incident of death of two persons who were hit by a car on Ferozpur Road and sought a report from DIG Operations.

The chief minister ordered that car driver should be arrested immediately and legal action be taken against him. He directed that all possible treatment facilities should be provided to the injured.

Reportedly,  Khushi Masih, victim of blast outside Church in Youhanabad, breathed his last at Lahore General Hospital on Monday, taking the death toll to 16.

As many as 15 people lost their lives and 78 injured due to twin blasts outside churches in Youhanabad on Sunday.

According to the LGH administration, 52 injured were discharged from the hospital on Monday after recovery. At present, 17 are under treatment at the LGH.

Postgraduate Medical Institute Principal Prof Anjum Habib Vohra has cancelled leaves of entire staff including consultants and doctors. He said that no staff would be allowed leave even on Sunday till March 25. He directed the entire staff to keep their mobile phones on during off hours. He also directed the administration to ensure availability of all lifesaving drugs at Emergency.

He said that staff nurse Ambreen Mukhtar and her husband Mukhtar were also among victims of twin blasts outside Youhanabad churches. He said that Ambreen was a dutiful and caring nurse and her untimely death has saddened the entire staff. He appreciated doctors, nurses and paramedics for providing best treatment facilities to the injured.