Mob in Pakistan Lynches Man Accused of Blasphemy, Torches Police Station

Mob in Pakistan Lynches Man Accused of Blasphemy, Torches Police Station

A mob in northwestern Pakistan lynched Mohammad Ismail, accused of desecrating the Quran, after breaking into a police station. Police vehicles were also torched in the attack.

Pakistan, Bollywood Fever: A Muslim mob in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday forcibly entered a police station, seized a man held there, and lynched him over allegations of desecrating the Quran. The violent incident took place in Madyan, a town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to local police official Rahim Ullah.

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The victim, Mohammad Ismail, was a tourist staying at a hotel in the town. He was accused of blasphemy by some locals. In an attempt to protect him, police officers brought Ismail to the station. However, a swelling mob followed and attacked the station, snatched Ismail, beat him to death, and burned his body, leaving it on the road. The attackers also set fire to the police station and torched the police vehicles parked there.

Additional police forces have since arrived in Madyan to control the situation, Ullah said. It remains unclear if any of the attackers have been arrested.

Blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, a conservative Islamic nation, often lead to violent mob attacks. Charges of blasphemy can carry the death penalty, and rights groups assert that such accusations are frequently used to intimidate religious minorities or settle personal disputes.

Just last month, in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, a mob attacked a 72-year-old Christian man, Nazir Masih, accusing him of desecrating Quran pages. Masih later died in a hospital.

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