Surviving Joseph Colony

19 images Created 20 Feb 2014

On March 8th 2013, all of the houses (175 approx.) including two small churches in the Joseph Colony Lahore were looted and set ablaze due to a falsely alleged blasphemy case after making all the minority Christian residents flee, all of whom work as cleaners & sweepers around the city and are considered dirty & of lower cast by the majority of Pakistani Muslims.

The night before the incident, Mr Sawan Masih of Joseph Colony was falsely accused of blasphemy by two Muslim men. The accusation instigated an anti-Christian outrage among the surrounding iron merchants and their workers. The local police evacuated the whole colony in 30 minutes saying that they could not guarantee the life of anyone. Next morning, a mob of more than two thousand workers from surrounding scrap-metal factories participated in the rampage. All the valuables were stolen before setting all the houses on fire. Industrial chemicals were used by the mob which melted metal objects that caught splashes of it.
The hoard of right-wing, small-scale scrap-metal industrialist surrounding the colony had been trying to buy out this tiny Joseph Colony since the last 20 years. This was their most momentous attempts to evacuate the houses.

These photographs were taken on the day when the residents were first permitted to return to their incinerated homes and discovered that their lifelong savings had been looted. The last four pictures were taken after the repairs partially funded by the government to save face for the May 2013 elections. The Joseph Colony is barely surviving so far.
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