LAHORE -  An anti-terrorism court yesterday acquitted 115 suspects of torching over 100 houses of Christians in Joseph Colony after an incident of blasphemy in 2013, due to lack of evidence.

ATC Judge Ch Muhammad Azam announced the verdict after Ghulam Murtaza Ch advocate argued that the prosecution could not prove the involvement of even a single suspect in setting Christians’ houses on fire. On March 9, 2013, a mob enraged over an incident of blasphemy had set houses of Christians on fire in Badami Bagh. A church and several shops were also torched by the mob.

According to police, 125 houses were burnt. It all began after a Christian identified as Sawan Masih, who was taken into police custody, committed an act of blasphemy in the colony. 

A year later in 2014, a trial court awarded death sentence to Sawan Masih after he was proved guilty of blasphemy charges against him.