Pakistani mob lynches man over blasphemy allegations

Islamabad, Feb 13 (EFE).- A violent mob lynched a man, who was suffering from a mental condition according to his family, after he was accused of blasphemy for allegedly burning some pages of the Quran in eastern Pakistan, a police official told EFE on Sunday.

“They first tied him, dragged him outside the mosque, stoned him to death and then hanged his body from a tree,” Muhammed Amin, a local police officer of the Tulamba area in the eastern Punjab province told EFE.

The incident took place on Saturday night after a rumor spread in the locality over the victim having burned pages of the Quran in the mosque.

Although several police officers had arrived at the scene, the mob refused to hand over the man, Amin said.

“They also threw stones on the police and one police officer got injured. More police force was called to the area but the man had died by that time,” the officer added.

Amin said that the victim was a resident of a nearby area and his family told authorities that he had been mentally ill.

The police has registered a case against over 300 people, out of which 33 have been identified, although no arrests have been made so far.

Videos of the incident were widely shared on social media in which a furious mob can be seen dragging a tied man outside a mosque, before starting to beat him, even as onlookers film the scene on their mobile phones.

In another video, the victim can be seen tied from a tree, while some people try to prevent the mob from burning him alive.

The latest case of lynching in the conservative country where blasphemy accusations often trigger violence, was condemned by political leaders.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special envoy for religious harmony, Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, said that killing someone for alleged blasphemy was inacceptable.

“I not only condemn this (incident) in all possible terms but also believe the perpetrators will be awarded exemplary punishment,” he said in a video statement.

Pakistan Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in a statement vowed to take strict actions against those involved.

The harsh Pakistani anti-blasphemy law was established in the British colonial era and was reformed by the dictator Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s.

Since then, there have been nearly a thousand accusations for blasphemy, a crime that in Pakistan can carry capital punishment, although no convict has ever been executed.

In December, a violent Pakistani mob lynched a Sri Lankan-origin man and set his body on fire in the northeastern city of Sialkot, for alleged blasphemy.

The incident was severely criticized by international organizations and the Sri Lankan government. EFE


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