‘Mentally ill’ shrine custodian, his aides kill 20 devotees in Sargodha

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SARGODHA: A custodian of a shrine and his associates tortured and killed 20 people, including five of a family on early Sunday morning in a remote village of Sargodha.

According to Deputy Commissioner Sargodha Liaquat Ali Chatta, the custodian, Abdul Waheed, believed to be suffering from mental disease killed the devotees from machetes and sticks after intoxicating them at the shrine of Ali Ahmed Gujjar.

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 dead body of a woman could not be identified.

Police have arrested Abdul Waheed along with his four 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.

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 to have committed the crime, police said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Punjab has constituted a probe committee headed by RPO to investigate the incident and report within 24 hours. The chief minister also directed Punjab Auqaf Minister Zaeem Hussain Qadri to personally visit the area to ascertain the facts.

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