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Punjab police foil lynching attempt by mob in Muzaffargarh

15 Feb, 2022
A mob attacked a mentally ill man over blasphemy allegations and stoned him to death in Mian Channu on Saturday. Reuters
A mob attacked a mentally ill man over blasphemy allegations and stoned him to death in Mian Channu on Saturday. Reuters

Punjab police on Monday claimed they had foiled a lynching attempt by a mob in Muzaffargarh, rescued a man over blasphemy allegations and shifted him to an undisclosed location, reported Dawn.

This was the third lynching incident in Punjab in a week. A mob attacked a mentally ill man over blasphemy allegations and stoned him to death in Mian Channu on Saturday.

On Monday, in another incident of similar nature, the Faislabad police was able to stop a mob from attacking a man.

Angered by rising cases in the province, social media users demanded a revision of the blasphemy laws of the country, while one user mentioned that extremism was on the rise in Punjab.

In the Muzaffargarh incident, the complainant said he saw a man burning pages of the Holy Quran in front of a mosque in Alipur tehsil near Jagmal area after Isha prayer. He then locked the suspect in a room and called the police helpline.

Soon a mob gathered outside the room but a heavy contingent of police reached the spot, broke the lock and took the suspect into custody, according to the report.

A case was registered against the suspect under section 295B of Pakistan Penal Code in Alipur Saddar police station and the first information report was sealed.

On the orders of District Police Officer Mohammad Tariq Wilayat, the suspect was shifted to a safe place.

According to the Dawn report a group of 25 to 30 people came to the police station but they did not find the suspect there.

The suspect seemed to be mentally deranged, however, “we are waiting for a medical report,” SHO Ghulam Mujtaba said.

Similar nature of incident happened in Faisalabad's Tandlianwala area on Sunday, when a violent mob attacked and injured a man for allegedly burning pages of the Holy Quran, reported Dawn.

In a timely action, the Punjab police reached the spot, rescued the accused person and shi­fted him to an undisclosed location.

The report quoted Faisalabad SSP Operations Mubashar Maikan saying, the police received an emergency call at 15 around 5:30 pm on Sunday in which it was informed that a "Shia scholar had defiled the Holy Quran".

A mob carrying clubs, bricks and other hard objects surrounded the house of the accused and attacked him.

“The person seems to be abnormal,” he said, adding that he was evacuated from that place and shifted to a safe location.

The police also transported his family me­m­bers to anot­her area for safety reasons, quoted Punjab inspector general of police in the report.

The police officers in the district were trying to engage religious leaders of all sects to ensure peace in the area, the IGP said.

In December last year, a mob in Sialkot lynched Sri Lankan factory manger Priyantha Kumara to death and later set his body on fire over blasphemy allegations.

Following the Mian Channu incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet noted the government had zero tolerance for anyone taking the law into their own hands. "Mob lynchings will be dealt with full severity of the law."