PM Imran takes notice of Khanewal mob lynching, says ‘zero tolerance’ will be shown to perpetrators

Web Desk – February 13, 2022 
A combination photo showing a mob beating a man for allegedly desecrating the Holy Quran in Khanewal on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV screengrab
A combination photo showing a mob beating a man for allegedly desecrating the Holy Quran in Khanewal on Saturday. 

The incident drew condemnation from political circles, with the prime minister tweeting: “We have zero tolerance for anyone taking the law into their own hands and mob lynchings will be dealt with [the] full severity of the law.

“[I] have asked Punjab IG (inspector general of police) for [a] report on action taken against perpetrators of the lynching in Mian Channu and against the police who failed in their duty.”

Terrorism clause added to FIR, 62 detained as raids underway

Punjab Inspector General of Police Rao Sardar Ali Khan submitted a preliminary report of the incident to Punjab Chief Minis­ter Usman Buzdar.

According to the report, a case was registered against 33 suspects and 300 unknown persons while sections related to heinous crimes and terrorism were also added.

The report informed the chief minister that the police have already conducted more than 120 raids at various locations and detained 62 suspects, including primary suspects, while more raids were underway. A secret police operation was carried out throughout the night, with senior police officers present in the field, it added.

The report said forensic analysis of the incident’s footage would help identify the culprits and determine their role.

The first information report (FIR) of the incident, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered at Tulamba police station on the complaint of police officer Munawwar Hussain under Sections 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly of people), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 302 (intentional murder) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The FIR stated that when police officials reached the village, a man accused of burning the Holy Quran was found tied up with ropes and being subjected to violence by a large mob.

The FIR said the police tried to placate the crowd but to no avail, adding that the 33 identified suspects and around 200-300 others eventually killed the man after beating him with rods, sticks and bricks.

“The suspects hung his body from a tree which spread immense fear,” the FIR said, adding that the body was recovered after much effort and taken for a postmortem examination.

The FIR said the police officers were also subjected to violence by the suspects due to which a sub-inspector suffered injuries and required medical treatment.

Subsequently, Chief Minister Buzdar issued directives that all requirements of justice must be met and said no one would be allowed to take the law into their own hands.

Strict government response

Several government officials took notice of the incident, with Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari saying the incident was “condemnable and should not go unpunished”.

“Punjab government must immediately take action against the police that watched it happen and the perpetrators. Laws exist — the police must enforce these laws and not allow mobs to rule the day,” she said.

She shared a statement from Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, who also condemned the incident and called for action against the perpetrators.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said he had “repeatedly pointed out” the destructive extremist elements present in the education system.

“This problem is one of rule of law and one of social decline as well. Be prepared for great destruction if the school, police station and pulpit are not reformed,” he warned.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *