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Lahore lynching victim identified as local glass cutter

Updated March 16, 2015

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DawnNews screengrab shows one of the two men killed by a mob in Lahore.
DawnNews screengrab shows one of the two men killed by a mob in Lahore.

LAHORE: A man named Muhammad Saleem filed an application at Lahore's Nishtar Colony police station on Monday, saying that one of the two men lynched by an angry mob following the twin church blasts on Sunday was his brother Naeem.

Speaking to Dawn.com, officials at the Nishtar Colony police station confirmed that Muhammad Saleem had approached the police to register a murder case against protesters who brutally killed and then torched his brother’s body.

Angry Christians lynch a person who they suspect is involved in a suicide bombing attack on churches in Lahore, on March 15, 2015. — AP
Angry Christians lynch a person who they suspect is involved in a suicide bombing attack on churches in Lahore, on March 15, 2015. — AP

Muhammad Saleem said his brother worked as a glass cutter and had nothing to do with yesterday’s church bombings in Lahore.

The victim had left home in the morning to complete the fitting of the windowpanes of a Youhanabad house. Some policemen, who were standing nearby, initially tried to rescue him and were shifting him to a hospital when angry protesters again intercepted, dragged him out of the vehicle and torched him.

“He is the glass cutter and not the terrorist, spare him,” shouted one of the protesters who had got hold of Naeem while he was locking his motorcycle soon after the twin blasts at Youhanabad churches on Sunday.

However, the charged mob paid no heed to the voice of the acquaintance of Naeem and continued beating him to his last breath, Saleem, the elder sibling of Naeem told Dawn.com while quoting some protesters involved in the gruesome act.

“They did not identify themselves but were apologetic while describing the last moments of my younger brother,” said Saleem before breaking into tears. “I do not bother as to what will be the outcome of any inquiry into this cruel act. But I am satisfied that it has been proved that Naeem was there to earn his livelihood through legal means."

From the blogs section: Killing outside churches, lynching in the streets

Naeem had no criminal background, says his 75-year-old father Muhammad Shafi.

Following Sunday’s attacks on two churches in Lahore’s Christian locality, Youhanabad, scores of protesters had taken away two suspects held by the police and lynched them.

The identity of both suspects had not been ascertained till late Sunday night.

Punjab Police IG Mushtaq Sukhera had said after the lynching: “The policemen did attempt to resist but the mob was highly charged. It was not impossible to use force at that time because it could turn the situation ugly and perhaps out of control.”

Commenting on the killing, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said “Killing someone on the basis of suspicion is inhumane. No one has the right to take the law into their own hands.”

He said an order to arrest those involved in the lynching had been issued.

The situation outside Youhanabad remained out of control on Monday as protests against the bombings turned violent. According to latest reports, one person was killed while seven protesters were injured after mobs clashed with baton-wielding policemen.