Eastern Eye (UK)

Man killed for blasphemy


A MOB of young people beat a Muslim man to death in Pakistan last Saturday (11), after the victim was accused of blasphemy, police said.

Muhammad Waris, a man in his early 20s, was taken into police custody last Saturday after a mob attacked him for allegedly desecratin­g the Qu’ran, police spokesman Muhammad Waqas said.

However, a mob stormed the police station where Waris was being held for his protection in the Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province, about 80 km (50 miles) from the eastern city of Lahore. They injured officers and vandalised the facility before beating the man to death, police said.

“Police could not resist them because a handful of officials were present in the police station,” Waqas said.

Videos shared on social media showed hundreds of youngsters besieging the police compound, with one man scaling a tall gate using a ladder and opening its lock. The crowd then barged inside and smashed windows.

A number of police officials have been suspended because of their inability to stop the mob, a police statement said.

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and ordered an inquiry, the government added.

Rights groups say accusation­s of blasphemy are often wielded in Pakistan to settle personal vendettas, with minorities largely the targets.

Blasphemy is also a crime under Pakistani law, which can carry the death sentence.

In December 2021, a Sri Lankan factory manager working in the country was beaten to death and his body burnt over blasphemy accusation­s.

Six years ago, a violent mob lynched university student Mashal Khan after he was accused of posting blasphemou­s content online.

A Christian couple were also lynched and their remains burnt in a kiln in Punjab in 2014 after being falsely accused of desecratin­g the Qu’ran.

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