Man Lynched In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mardan For Blasphemy

A man was lynched by a violent mob in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mardan after he was accused of blasphemy during a rally of Imran Khan’s political outfit Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Saturday night, Pakistan media reported.

A video is making rounds on social media, in which several people can be seen beating the man violently. The mob even dragged and were seen beating mercilessly the lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s, in the Sawal Dher area.
The deceased has been identified as Maulana Nigar Alam. He was accused of announcing, before the crowd at a rally of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), that he respects PTI chairman Imran Khan like a Prophet as he is an honest man, reported The Friday Times.

The alleged statement soon instigated anger among the gathering at the scene. Some reported that police reached the spot to push the crowd back. The people attacked the man while they were holding talks with some elders there.

Meanwhile, a report, cited by The Friday Times, said that before the incident, some clerics belonging to the Deobandi school of thought had demanded that a case be filed against the victim on blasphemy charges.

Various social media users were of the opinion that the sensitive statement by the person provoked the public that led to the lynching of the man, according to The Friday Times.

International and Pakistani rights groups say accusations of blasphemy have often been used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal scores. Pakistan’s government has long been under pressure to change the country’s blasphemy laws, but other political forces in the country have strongly resisted, media reported.

Earlier in February, a person accused of blasphemy in Nankana Sahib was forcefully taken out of the police station by an enraged mob of people and tortured to death.

The incident was reported in the Warburton area, where the accused, a Muslim male, was detained in on the charges of blasphemy and witchcraft for using pictures of his ex-wife. The man was also accused of setting pages of the Holy Quran to fire. He had recently been freed after spending two years in jail, as per The Friday Times.

The mob attacked the police station where the accused was held in a lockup, while the SHO of the police station and other law enforcement employees fled to save their lives.

Sources, quoted by The Friday Times, stated that the crowd dragged the accused out of the lockup, and tortured him to death and set his body on fire.

An investigation was ordered into the incident by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. He asked the police why they did not stop the violent crowd, and said that rule of law must be ensured at all costs, The Friday Times reported. (ANI)

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