Several suspects have been arrested after twenty people were killed at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan. Local authorities claim the killings occurred during a cult ritual.
The Subjects were drugged and then killed with batons and knives, the police said. Several of them were tortured before being killed.
Four women were among those killed, and another four people were critically wounded in the mass murder, which occurred at Mohammad Ali’s shrine north of Multan in thePunjab province.
Some of the victims were naked, and the bodies had several stab- and blunt weapon wounds.
– Probably psychotic
The alleged mastermind behind the crime is the head of the sanctuary. He and several alleged accomplices have been arrested Sunday morning.
– The 50-year-old Manager has confessed that he killed these people because he feared that they had come to kill him, police chief Zulfiqar Hameed said, who adds that the suspects seem to be paranoid and psychotic.
He also believes that the murders can be linked to a conflict over control of the sanctuary.
Other representatives of the local community however claim that the Manager often beat and tortured believers to ‘cleanse’ them.
Investigation shows that the man had many followers who regularly visited the shrine to be tortured to attain religious purification, according to the Minister of Punjab provincial government. Rana Sanaullah
The shrine was built two years ago, close to the tomb of the local religious leader Ali Mohammad Gujjar.
Sufism is a traditional Islamic mysticism, and has millions of followers in Pakistan.
It is still very popular in Pakistan for visitors of shrines to offer alms to the poor and give money to fund Managers, as many people believe this will help to get their prayers answered.
Many Islamic extremists regard them as infidels, and extremist Islamists have been behind deadly attacks against Sufi shrines.
In November last year, at least 52 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a bomb attack, which ISIS claimed responsibility for, at a shrine in the province of Balochistanin the south of Pakistan.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today