LAHORE: The police claimed on Sunday to have arrested two suspects involved in torturing a National College of Arts (NCA) student to death over a minor dispute.

Qutub Rind, 32, of Jacobabad, Sindh, was studying at NCA and was living in a rented flat in Rajgarh.

On July 17, landlord of the flat, identified as Ahsan, approached Qutub and demanded next month’s rent of the quarters. Qutub told him that he had already paid the rent and would pay the next month’s rent on the date given in the agreement.

Victim was killed over rent, not blasphemy: police

The landlord got angry. He called his brother, Waqas Ali, and another accomplice and started beating Qutub with a rod and later pushed him down from the third floor of the house.

The victim suffered critical injuries and was taken to the Services Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Sanda police, on the complaint of Qutub’s paternal uncle, Gul Beg Rind, registered a case against three suspects, Ahsan Ali, his brother Waqas Ali and an unidentified person. The family took the body to their native town of Jacobabad.

Now a social media campaign has been launched on Facebook and Twitter by the friends and relatives of Qutub, more than two weeks after the alleged crime.

According to them, the suspects had first leveled blasphemy allegation against the victim and later a mob gathered and killed him.

Victim’s uncle Gul Beg Rind told Dawn by phone that his nephew was killed by the owner of the flat, his brother and an unidentified accomplice. He said the police had arrested two of the suspects and one of them had started leveling allegations against Qutub, saying they had killed him for committing blasphemy. He said the suspects were leveling false allegations and his nephew was murdered over a dispute on rent payment.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Investigations Awais Malik also confirmed to Dawn that Qutub was killed over dispute on payment of rent.

He said the owner of the flat was a drug addict and he demanded rent of the flat second time in a month which had resulted in an exchange of harsh words between him and Qutub. He said the police had arrested the suspects.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2018