Another incident of blasphemy killing in Pakistan; mob lynches man, torches police station

Last month, a similar incident saw a Christian man being lynched to death

Pakistan Images going viral on social media showing a man being burnt to death for alleged blasphemy | X

In another incident of mob violence in Pakistan, a group of people on Thursday torched a police station and lynched to death a man detained there over blasphemy charges. The incident happened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat district, where the police apprehended a man over the alleged desecration of the Quran.

This is the second incident in a month, the other being a mob torching the house of a Christian man alleging blasphemy. The man died later in hospital. Another incident happened in 2022 where a man was stoned to death by a mob over the alleged desecration of the Quran in a remote village.

According to Swat Police officials, though the police moved the suspect of the alleged desecration incident to the police station, a charged mob attacked the police station and took the suspect away.  "People set fire to the police station and a mobile vehicle," a senior police official told Dawn, adding that the suspect was torched. 

The video of the incident doing rounds on social media also showed a mob around a man set ablaze in the middle of the road. A huge number of people were seen outside a police station. The incident reportedly happened near Madyan, a famous tourist spot situated around 245 kilometres from the provincial capital of Peshawar. 

Pakistan made blasphemy punishable by death in 1980 during the military dictatorship of General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq as part of a drive to Islamise the state. Though no one has ever been executed by the state, blasphemy convictions are common in Pakistan, including multiple incidents of mob violence. 

Many resort to using Pakistan’s blasphemy law to carry out personal vendettas or prosecute members of minority religious communities.

Recently, Pakistan witnessed armed mobs launching a widespread attack on at least two churches in Punjab province’s Jaranwala town accusing two Christian residents of blasphemy. Videos doing rounds on social media showed hundreds armed with batons and sticks attacking the Salvation Army Church and the Saint Paul Catholic Church. While many houses were set ablaze, many others suffered heavy damage. 

Authorities deployed Paramilitary Rangers to control the situation in the district in Punjab which saw over 100 people arrested. 


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