Twelve suspects involved in the mob lynching of a man at the Nankana Sahib police station in Pakistan’s Punjab province have been arrested, reported The News International city local police.
The arrests were made on Sunday after an initial investigation was launched by the local police.
Several videos had surfaced on Pakistan’s social media purportedly showing a man beaten to death by a mob over alleged blasphemy.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after taking notice of the incident has mentioned that action will be taken against the police officials who have failed their duties.
The Punjab Province Inspector General of Police Usman Anwar suspended two senior policemen for failing to prevent the mob lynching incident in Nankana Sahib the report said.
The News International report quotes an official statement by the local police which said that Nankana Sahib Circle Deputy Superintendent of Police Nawaz Waraq and Warburton Station House Officer Feroz Bhatti were suspended by Anwar after the incident.
For further investigations on the case IGP Anwar has appointed Internal Accountability Branch Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Syed Muhammad Amin Bukhari and Special Branch DIG Raja Faisal to submit a detailed report from the location.
Police officials said the victim, identified as Muhammad Waris, had been taken into custody for allegedly desecrating the Quran. They said news of the alleged crime outraged residents and hundreds of them later surrounded the police station, demanding Waris be handed over to them.
Seeing the massive violent crowd, police officers fled the facility. Protesters grabbed the man and dragged him out to the street where they beat him to death.
International rights groups have long criticised Pakistani authorities for not doing enough to stem lynchings over accusations of blasphemy, which have been frequent in the Muslim-majority country. Blasphemy is also a crime under Pakistani law, which can carry the death sentence.
There have been several cases of vigilante action by mobs against people accused of blasphemy including the murder of a Sri Lankan national, a garment factory manager, in 2021.
Six men were sentenced to death for lynching the Sri Lankan garment factory manager in a mass trial that involved some 89 suspects after the matter sparked national and global outrage.
Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi has condemned the incident, saying killing and burning someone accused of blasphemy was a cruel act.
“Inhuman torture and killing the person, accused of blaspheming the Holy Quran in #Nankana Sahib and attacking at the police station is regrettable and condemnable,” he wrote on Twitter. (ANI)