Muslim mob lynch and burn blasphemy accused sorcerer in Pakistan

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London;   (By Hannah Chowdhry and Juliet Chowdhry) A mob of hundreds estimated at 800 Muslims stormed a police station in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province.The mob managed to snatch a blasphemy suspect from his cell and take him outside  of a police station, where they lynched him.

The video below has very graphic content that shows Waris being beaten after being taken from the clutches of local Police.

“On Saturday a man identified as Waris had been in police custody for desecrating the pages of a copy of Islam’s holy book, the Quran.

“Waris pasted images of himself, his wife and a knife on several pages of the book, displayed them and threw them about in the rural district of Nankana Sahib.”

Mr Alpa, described the incident and explained  that an enraged mob of hundreds descended on Warburton Police Station.  He alleges that amongst the protestors was a man with a wooden ladder, which was placed against the wall of the police station and used to scale the wall.

Once inside a number of the protestors then outnumbered police officers and opened the main gate of the police station, allowing entry to an unstoppable large angry mob.

The rioters then ransacked the entire police station and obtained keys from a police officer under duress, which they used to extricate Waris from the police cell in which he was confined.

Please sign our petition to end Foreign Aid to Pakistan currently are largest recipient (click here).

The Prime Minister for Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and asked the Chief of Police for Punjab to take action against the police officers who failed to protect the suspect while in custody.  However, he did not comment on the matter in his official Twitter account.

Mr Alpa has also shared publicly that Waris was arrested in 2019 on a previous blasphemy charge and was in prison until mid-2022.  Later he was declared innocent.

17 suspects of the lynching were named in an FIR immediately after the lynching and Nankana Sahib police have now arrested 60 suspects.  And raids are continuing so this number will grow.

Several police teams launched a massive crackdown at the homes of suspects, business points, and other places and rounded up the suspects.

Mr Alpa, has explained that police were very clear in their action against the attackers whether they were from any religious organisation or a political party.

Police teams had seized 923 video clips of the incident, and they are being used to identify and arrested those involved.

Nankana Sahib District Police Officer (DPO) Asim Iftikhar said there were 50 police personnel who tried to save Waris, but they were outnumbered.

He said that in response to an emergency call for reinforcement, several police personnel were on the way but the mob killed the man before their arrival.

He said some 15 people arrested were members of a religious-cum-political party – they are believed to be principally involved in the lynching by fomenting hatred through slogans and leading the mob to violence.

Married in 2016, Waris divorced his wife within a couple of years and was living alone in his house close to Warburton police station.  Warburton police had received three calls in the last few days alleging that Waris had  desecrated the Koran. In the last call, it was said that residents found burnt pages of the the Koran and a picture of Waris’s ex-wife.  Local people also alleged that Waris was involved in Islamic witchcraft and may have been laying a curse on his ex-wife.

These local residents who claimed to have seem him dishonour the Koran called a mob, who rushed to Waris’ house, overpowered and thrashed him.  Police responded to an emergency call and rushed him to the police station to rescued him from a growing mob, after attempts were made to clutch Waris from the custody of police.

The police immediately locked him in the bathroom of the police station and tried to quell the furore outside their station, as the mob grew.  The situation was exacerbated when local mosques declared a blasphemy on their pubic address systems and challenged people to take the law into their hands.

Police have identified a strategic blunder in the design of Warburton Police Station.  Their contractor had left a three-foot wide hole over the station’s main entrance gate. After climbing a ladder men were able to enter the station via the hole and unlocked the protective gates.

Nankhana Sahib, is the location of one of the largest Sikh communities in Pakistan, and the place where Guru Nanak was born.  Local Sikhs have been expressing fears of increased fundamentalism amongst their Muslim neighbours for years.  This incident will no doubt garner more fear in this community.

Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:

“Mob violence is not unusual in Pakistan, Pak-Christians still remember the brutal death of Shama and Shahzad a brick kiln couple accused of blasphemy in 2014 (click here).

“However, the fact that this lynching occurred after a blasphemy suspect was in the custody of police in the safety of a police station, is very alarming.

“Human rights groups have been challenging for reform or abrogation of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, since they were hardened in the 1970’s.

But the nation continues to traverse towards a more intolerant society and recently the draconian blasphemy laws were hardened (click here).

“Western nations have ploughed billions into the Pak-economy hoping to create a fairer more just and equal society.

“Years of foreign aid however have failed in their purpose and Britain’s failed experiment in improving ‘holistic education’ through DFID funding – may well have helped educate the next generation of more potent radicals (click 

“British tax-payers now have every right to bemoan an awful foreign aid strategy, that had little or no safeguards.”

We have continued to support the orphans of Shama and Shahzad since they were burned alive in a brick kiln in 2014 (click here). We are also fighting for freedom for Zafar Bhatti (click here) and for Nabeel Masih (click here), two of Pakistan’s most famous blasphemy law prisoners.  You can support our work by donating (here).

Please sign our petition to end Foreign Aid to Pakistan currently are largest recipient (click here).

We share a news report on the incident by WION News (in English), this is quite non-graphic:

BACA have uploaded some of the videos of the attack for those who want to peruse them.  We must warn you some of the content is very violent and graphic.

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