A man who allegedly stole a cell phone on Friday evening was severely beaten up by over 40 people and later paraded in a village with a blackened face.
According to police officials, a police team received a tip off about the incident which took place in the Factory Area police station limits on Friday.
Eyewitnesses claimed that Ajmal, 35, broke into the house of Railway Colony resident Nazir Ansari and stole a cell phone from the house.
“The owner of the house raised alarm and soon there was a crowd gathered here. The thief was beaten to within an inch of his life. Then they tied him to a pole and beat him some more,” said an eyewitness Farooq.
Police officials said that Nazir Ansari also chased the accused out of his house with a gun in his hand while others caught hold of him and tied him to an electricity pole in the middle of the street. “They blackened his face and beat him severely. Over ten people were hitting him with sticks and he eventually fainted. Then they dragged him around the street until the police arrived,” said eyewitness Muneeza Bibi.
Other witnesses said that Ajmal was begging for forgiveness but the mob continued to beat him. “The police arrived at the scene before they could burn him because some of them were calling for someone to throw petrol on him,” said a shopkeeper Asad Khan.
Police officials rushed to the scene and spent nearly an hour trying to break up the mob.
“There were over a hundreds people gathered by the time we arrived and Ajmal was tied to a pole. He was unconscious and they were arguing over whether they should burn him,” said Inspector Rashid Haroon.
Police officials arrested several people from the scene and took Ajmal into custody. “He has been sent to the hospital where he is in a serious condition,” he added.
Meanwhile, several villagers said that the police was initially helping the people beat up Ajmal.
“They said it took them an hour to stop the beating when in fact they were beating him too.
They were also there when he was being paraded in the streets. We had to call another police station before the thing stopped,” said Asad Khan.
In the hospital, accused Ajmal told police that he had not committed any crime and claimed that he had entered Nazir’s house to ask for alms.
This is 7th incident of mob torture in Faisalabad during the last three months.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2011.
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