A middle-aged man was lynched to death by a mob for allegedly desecrating a religious book in a remote village in Pakistan’s Punjab province, eyewitnesses said on Sunday.
The incident took place on Saturday in Jungle Dera village, where locals had gathered after their Maghrib (evening) prayers, following announcements that a man had torn pages of the Holy Quran and had set them on fire, they said
According to eyewitnesses, the police arrived in the village before the incident took place, but the mob seized the victim from the SHO’s custody and tied him to a tree, after which he was lynched to death. The victim had reportedly claimed innocence, but the angry mob ignored his pleas.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has sought a report from the police force and also ordered a detailed probe into this incident. Pakistan has extremely strict laws against defaming Islam, including the death penalty, and rights campaigners say they are often used to settle scores in the Muslim majority country.
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The gruesome incident comes a little over two months after a Sri Lankan executive of a garment factory was lynched and his body torched by angry supporters of a hardline Islamist party that attacked the facility in Pakistan’s Punjab province over blasphemy allegations.