Mob burns mentally ill man alive for burning Holy Quran


A religiously-charged emotional mob late on Tuesday night burnt a mentally-challenged man to death for allegedly burning pages of the Holy Quran in Bahawalpur district.
Chani Ghotchakar Police Sub-Inspector Ghulam Farid told Pakistan Today on the phone that the man, who was mentally unstable and was only wearing a vest at the time, was seen setting fire to some pages of the holy book in the Chani Ghotchakar area.
The police was informed and the accused was taken into custody and put behind bars. Later, some locals gathered a crowd and made provocative speeches, inciting people against the “blasphemer”, the official said.
He said following the speech, a massive crowd of about 7000-8000 people besieged the police station and demanded the police handover the suspect to them. Farid said police tried its best to placate the protesters but the situation got out of hand and the enraged people barged into the police station.
They ransacked the premises, set four official vehicles on fire and injured at least eight policemen, the SI said. Another official said the mob put up roadblocks to prevent police reinforcements from reaching the area. “We were totally outnumbered. There were too many of them and they were hysterical. Eventually, they succeeded in taking him away,” he said.
The man was reportedly beaten and dragged to the spot where he is said to have desecrated the Holy Quran. The mob then poured petrol on him and set him on fire, according to witnesses. They said hundreds of people looked on as he screamed for help.
Police say they are trying to identify the victim, who was said to be mentally unstable. “The man had no idea what was going on,” said an official. “While he was in our custody, he kept laughing and chanting.” Farid said that an FIR of the incident had been registered but refused to reveal the details, saying it had been sealed.


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