The custodian of a shrine in Pakistan and his accomplices killed 20 worshipers Sunday after intoxicating them in what officials report was the outcome of a dispute over custodianship of the shrine.
According to senior police officer Mohammad Bilal, the shrine’s custodian, Abdul Waheed was arrested along with four others in a village near the city of Sargodha in the eastern Punjab province for killing worshipers with batons and knives.
Another four people are reported to be in critical condition.
In an interview with Geo TV, a doctor at Sargodha hospital revealed that the victims were killed while nude and the bodies were riddled with multiple stab wounds and blunt weapons marks.
Area government administrator, Liaquat Ali Chatta said that Waheed is a retired government employee who seemed “mentally unstable.” Chatta said the custodian confessed to the murders and was allegedly engaging in the practice of “beating and torturing” worshipers to “cleanse” them.
Regional police officer Zulfiquar Hameed said that Waheed’s confession and other statements point to the incident being the “outcome of jealousy and dispute over custodianship” of the shrine.
“This man was afraid of losing prominence and that the position would go to somebody else,” said Hameed, who is leading the probe into the crimes. “The issue of custodianship ends to [sic] this level of incident.”
An initial investigation revealed that Waheed had a group of followers who would regularly come to the shrine to endure torture in the name of religious cleansing.
The shrine was constructed about two years ago on the grave of local religious leader Ali Mohammad Gujjar. According to local police officer Shamsher Joya, Waheed would visit the shrine twice a week and his followers would submit to “beating and torturing with a red-hot iron rod.”
Joya said Waheed divulged during the investigation that he had killed the victims because he had discovered a plot aimed at poisoning him.
Waheed alleged the plot was initiated by Asif Gujjar, the only son of the religious leader buried at the shrine. Joya confirmed that 35-year-old Gujjar was among the 20 victims.
According to police, victims were murdered at a house adjacent to the shrine and their clothing was found burned.
According to a December report, illegal aliens entering the United States from Pakistan via the Mexican border have surged by 935%.
H/T: Fox News
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