Mob justice: Alleged blasphemer lynched in front of police

Man was suspected of burning copies of Holy Quran at mosque in Dadu.

Walidad Chandio December 21, 2012


In an appalling incident of mob justice, a man was lynched for allegedly desecrating the Holy Quran in a village in Dadu district of Sindh on Friday. More alarming is the fact that the unidentified man was burnt to death right in front of the police inside the local police station.

The man was accused of burning copies of the Holy Quran at Memon mosque in Seeta village. According to the prayer leader of the mosque, Usman Memon, the man appeared to be a traveller who stayed at the mosque for a night.

“He offered Isha prayers [on Thursday] and spent the night here. When we [worshippers] came to the mosque for Fajr prayers, we found charred copies of the Holy Quran,” Memon told Sindh Express.

The worshippers suspected the unidentified lodger was responsible for the desecration since he was alone at the mosque.  “We handed him over to the Rajo Dero police and lodged an FIR against him,” said Memon.

Ghulam Mustafa Tunio

However, as word spread across the village, residents started gathering at the police station. Once the mob gathered strength, they overpowered the police officials posted at the station and took the accused into custody. Reportedly, they thrashed him before setting him on fire.

“There were more than 200 people against half a dozen policemen,” Ghulam Mustafa Tunio, the newly-appointed station house officer (SHO) of Rajo Dero police told Sindh Express. He added that the police could not identify the accused.

The senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dadu, Usman Ghani, said the 10 policemen present at Rajo Dero police station at the time of incident, including then SHO Baharuddin Keerio, have been suspended.

“We have also arrested around two dozen residents of the village,” he told reporters at the police station. Two separate FIRs have been lodged against the policemen and the village residents, SSP Ghani added.

More than 200 villagers have been booked for murder and obstructing police from duty under Sections 302 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The 10 policemen have been charged for negligence.

(Read: Another case of blasphemy)

Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2012.


Jan | 11 years ago | Reply

All sympathies for the deceased and anger at the fanatics aside, I don't understand how blasphemy laws come into this discussion.

Dr.Sinha | 11 years ago | Reply

In many countries of the world, which I have been visiting, the word Pakistan conjures up a picture of barbaric stone-age culture that is sustained by evil mullahs who for their own personal agenda want to continue with this horrendous blasphemy law (would it not be better to call it a lynch-mob quick fix by using persons -- many times, innocent -- as the sacrificial lambs?). International analysts even say that Pakistan's plight is worse than that of Sudan, Somalia or even North Korea. So people ask themselves, why does Pakistan not take the courage to reform itself? It needs that badly and urgently. Its hitherto culture of terrorism and religious extremism, denial and deception, and cheating not only the world at large but also its own people cannot be sustained indefinitely. It is at the edge of the cliff. For one, stop blaming everyone else but yourself (this is evident from the reaction of readers to any ghastly incident in Pakistan always, invariably, blaming outside forces and finding absurd excuses to justify whatever happens). Religion is a good thing if practised within the confines of one's home; it becomes an uncontrollable Frankenstein monster once it is let loose and mingles with politics. The beneficiaries are always a handful of opportunists (in your case the mullahs who have been brainwashing unsuspecting and impressionable young boys and turning them into killing machines). The losers are always the people. What a shame! Such a beautiful country with some decent and just-minded people going to the dogs. I sincerely hope you will have the courage to stand up to such atrocities that are not only giving your country a bad name (Madelein Wright called Pakistan an "international migraine" but others are now using harsher words such as an "international plague") but are also destroying it.

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