SARGODHA – At least 20 devotees including three women were allegedly slaughtered by the custodian of a local shrine in Punjab’s Sargodha area of Village 95 Shumaali.
Abdul Waheed, the custodian, believed to be suffering from mental disease killed the people from machetes and sticks after intoxicating them at the shrine of Ali Ahmed Gujjar, said Deputy Commissioner Sargodha Liaquat Ali Chatta.
“Food is distributed among the pilgrims at the Astana during the first week of Islamic month Rajab,” Chatta added.
The deceased hail from different areas of Punjab; 11 from Sargodha, two from Islamabad, two from Layyah and one each from Mianwali and Pir Mahal, while one dead body of a woman could not be identified.
The dead persons were included Zahid Malang, Khalid Jatt, Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Nadeem, Javed, Muhammad Shahid, Nusrat Bibi, Shazia Bibi, Rukhsana Bibi, Saif-ur-Rehman, Muhammad Sajid, Muhammad Hussain, Jamil, Muhammad Gulzar, Baber, Muhammad Ashfaq and others.
Police have arrested Abdul Waheed along with his seven close associates and shifted them to an undisclosed location.
The authorities suspect that Waheed and his accomplices mercilessly killed the intoxicated victims after stripping them.
According to Geo News, three injured, including two women, are said to be in stable condition. The wounded were shifted to Intensive Care Unit of DHQ Hospital Sargodha.
The custodian is reportedly an employee of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Sargodha.
The locals said that the main accused usually visited the shrine twice a month, where, he used to torture devotees by setting them on fire, which he called the healing process. ‘We heard people screaming whenever he (Waheed) was at the shrine.’
The accused has admitted having committed the crime, police said. The motive behind the crime has not yet been found, the police added.
Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif has directed Auqaf & Religious Affairs Minister Syed Zaeem Hussain Qadri to reach the crime scene.