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Muslim Mob Lynches Man Accused of Blasphemy in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Mob Lynches Man Accused of Quran Desecration in Madyan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

In Madyan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a mob stormed a police station, seized a man accused of desecrating the Quran, and lynched him. The mob also set fire to the police station and police vehicles, causing chaos and leaving eight people injured.

District Police Officer Dr Zahidullah Khan confirmed that eight people sustained injuries during the unrest. Initially taken into police custody, the suspect was forcefully seized by the charged mob, leading to chaos. “The mob attacked the police station, set fire to the premises and a police vehicle, and torched the suspect,” Dr Khan said.

Mohammad Ismail, a tourist staying at a local hotel, was accused of blasphemy by locals, leading police to take him into custody for his safety. However, the mob quickly gathered and attacked the station, overpowering the police and dragging Ismail away. They savagely beat him to death before burning his body and leaving it on a road.

Videos circulating on social media depict a mob surrounding a burning body in the middle of a street, along with large crowds gathering outside the police station.

Madyan, known for its scenic beauty in the Swat Valley, is about 245 kilometres from the provincial capital of Peshawar.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur has taken serious note of the incident, demanding an urgent report from the provincial police chief. He has instructed immediate measures to stabilize the situation and called for public calm and peace.

Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry lamented the incident, decrying the ongoing violence driven by extremist ideologies in Pakistan, particularly in cases related to blasphemy.

Blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, where penalties can include death, often provoke such violent reactions. Rights groups, both international and national, have repeatedly condemned the misuse of blasphemy laws to target religious minorities and settle personal vendettas.

According to reports, over 2,120 individuals have faced blasphemy accusations between 1987 and 2022.

In a similar incident last month in Sargodha, police intervened to save a Christian man accused of Quran desecration, who later succumbed to injuries sustained from the attack. In another case in 2022, a man was stoned to death by a mob in Khanewal district over similar allegations.

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