Mob Justice: ‘Cell phone thief’ paraded on donkey

Iqbal told police he stole the phone to feed his starving family.

Shamsul Islam August 13, 2011


A cell phone thief was beaten up and paraded on a donkey after locals removed his eyebrows, moustache and shaved his head. The villages put a necklace of shoes around his neck and blackened his face.

According to eyewitnesses, the incident took place in Siddique Colony, Bhowana on Friday afternoon. Local residents told police officials that Ansar Iqbal, 16, was caught running away after stealing a cell phone from the shop of Muhammad Husain. A large mob cornered Iqbal, who was severely thrashed and then taken to the centre square and humiliated. “People blackened his face by removing his eyebrows, moustache and shaving his head. Then they put him on a donkey and paraded him in the streets for hours,” said Bhowana resident Musharraf.

Residents said that Iqbal, was crying for help after he had been beaten and sought pardon from the shopkeeper and villagers. Iqbal told police that his family had been without food for three days. “The boy doesn’t have a criminal record and said that he was going to sell the phone for food,” police official Raza said. “His neighbours intervened and rescued him from the mob. Then they called us,” he added. Police officials have registered a case against Muhammad Husain under Section 337-B, 148/149 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2011.